Pre-budget discussion: NOAB for tax, newsprint duty cut


Staff Reporter :
The Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) on Sunday proposed a reduction in corporate tax on newspaper industry from 27.5 per cent to the lowest percentage point, taking into consideration the sector’s poor financial health.

It also put forward a written proposal to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) seeking reduction of the existing 15 per cent VAT on newsprint imports to 5 per cent, and a reduction of existing 5 per cent import duty to 2 per cent.

These proposals were placed at a pre-budget discussion of the NBR for FY 2024-25 with NOAB held at the NBR conference room in the city.

Placing the budget proposal, NOAB President AK Azad said, “The newspaper industry has long been facing various challenges.

On the one hand, a transformation of media to various types of digital media and the unstoppable progress of television has put the newspaper industry in an adverse situation.”

“Besides, the imposition of various taxes, VAT and corporate taxes is hindering the progress of this industry. Under the global economic

circumstances, especially the rising exchange rates, has brought the industry to its knees. A ton of newsprint used to cost less than $600 not long ago, but now it has risen to over $700.”


Drawing the attention of the authorities, he said, in the newsprint, even though the import duty is 5 per cent, with 15 per cent VAT, advance income tax, and transport insurance, the overall cost stands at around 30 per cent.

“The newspaper is declared as a service industry by the government. Apart from journalists, countless people depend on this industry through printing, marketing, distribution and advertising work.

A large number of reforms in the implementation of duty and tax policies are required for its growth,” he added.

NOAB member Mahfuz Anam said, “Every year, before the budget, some reasonable proposals are made for this industry. But they are not taken into consideration. I call for the overall implementation of the association’s proposals.”

Responding to NOAB’s proposal, the NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said, “When a sector is given special policy support, many misuse the facility. If the import duty on newsprint is reduced, then all papers will come in the country as newsprint.”

“I assure that the NBR will seriously consider the three proposals submitted by NOAB in this pre-budget meeting,” he added.