Leather importers urge to end tax disparity

Leather chemical importers have urged the revenue authorities to end disparity in duty structure as many of the importers are misusing the bond facilities.

Bangladesh Chemical Importers and Merchants Association President M Mizanur Rahman said importers under the bonded warehouse facility are enjoying zero duty while others out of the bonded facility have to pay 25% duties and the commercial importers pay 29%.

“By using the system, a group of 20-25 bonded tanners are importing chemicals and selling them at the local market with certain amount of commission,” he alleged, reports Dhaka Tribune.

leather goodsTo remove the disparity, he suggested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to reduce the duties and introduce a 15% package VAT by removing the 29% existing duty. The importers put forward the demand at a pre-budget meeting between the revenue body NBR and stakeholders at the NBR headquarters in Dhaka on Thursday.

Leaders of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather goods and Footwear Exporters Association has demanded abolition of supervised bond system and introduction of general bond like the readymade garments sector to reduce the costs paid by the exporters.

In response, NBR Chairman Ghulam Hussain said tannery as the oldest industry could have been second largest export-oriented industry of the country if utilised its potentials.

“You are exporting the rawhides abroad and again importing the products from different countries with some value additions. You could have rather worked for establishing the industry here,” he said.

In response, the association leaders said they have already taken up initiatives to set-up leather footwear industry in the country which will export the products abroad.

Meanwhile, Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh Executive Director Kazi Rawshan Ara demanded reducing import duty from existing 25% to 15% for expansion of the sector and has demanded renewal of bonded warehouse facility for the next three years.

NBR chairman Ghulam Hussain presided over the meeting while NBR members Syed Aminul Karim and Jahangir Hossain were present.