NBR slashes duty on onion and sugar

15 October 2021

Staff Reporter :
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has reduced import duties on onion and sugar in order to bring down their prices in local markets.
All the 5 percent regulatory duty (RD) has been withdrawn from onion imports while the RD on sugar import has been slashed to 20 percent from 30 percent. The existing 5 percent customs duty on onion import will continue.The NBR on Thursday issued two separate statutory regulatory orders (SROs) reducing the duty following a price hike of the two essential items in domestic markets.
According to the SROs, the new duty will be effective from soon after the issuance of orders and the validity of sugar import duty reduction will remain effective till February 28 next year and on onion import till December 31 this year.
The duty on onion import will be reduced under the H.S. Code 0703.10.11 (onion, Wrapped/canned 2.5 Kg) and H.S. Code 0703.10.19 (onions and others), the SRO said.
On the other hand, the regulatory duty on sugar import will be slashed under the H.S. Code 1701.12.00 (Raw sugar not containing added flavouring or clouring matter or beet sugar), H.S. Code 1701.13.00 (Cane sugar specified in subheading note 2 to this chapter and H.S. Code 1701.14.00 (other sugar cane), the another SRO said.
The Commerce Ministry on Monday requested the NBR to withdraw import duties on four essential commodities-sugar, onion, soyabeen oil and palm oil - amid unusual price hike of the commodities in market.
Following the request, the revenue board issued the SROs, the NBR officials said.
Addressing at press conference on the Monday, the Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi brushed aside speculations about a possible surge in prices, and said Bangladesh has 500,000 tonnes of onion, which is enough to meet the demand for up to three months.
But the onion prices have been increased sharply in the local market accusing the suspension of onion import from India due to the ongoing Puja, the largest festival of the Hindu community.
The onion price has increased to Tk80 from Tk45 per Kg in the kitchen market, according the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Md Habibur Rahman, a wholesaler of Jatrabari area in the capital, said that the onion imports have been declined from India. It price has also increased in India. As a result, the price has increased in the domestic market."
Meanwhile, TCB has been selling onions since September to keep the market stable and since then, around thousand Kg onions have been selling per day across the country.   
The open market selling will be increased, if the price soars further, TCB officials said.
On the other hand, the commerce ministry has also increased market monitoring in order to keep the onion market stable.
Prices of sugar and edible oil have also been increased sharply, leaving the consumers in peril.

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