The government has proposed reducing the import duty on soya cake and maize in the budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 to boost the poultry industry.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith in his budget speech on Thursday proposed a 5.0 per cent regulatory duty (RD) on soya cake instead of the existing 10 per cent customs duty (CD).
He also proposed reviewing the import duty on maize, another major ingredient of poultry feed.
The budget proposed reducing the customs duty on maize import to 15 per cent from 25 per cent and increasing the regulatory duty to 10 per cent from 3 per cent.
Executive director of Nilsagor Agro Ltd. Md Arman Habib told the FE that soya cake accounts for 40-45 per cent of poultry feed.
The feed industry needs to import nearly 1.2 million tonnes of soya cake and 1.5 million tonnes of maize annually, he said.
The government's proposal for duty cut will definitely help reduce the prices of poultry and animal feed, he added.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) president Moshiur Rahman said the cost of maize import might remain almost static as RD has been increased.
But feed makers would definitely get a relief from duty cut in soya cake, he added.
Mr. Rahman said most of the poultry farmers incurred huge losses in the last one and half years due to low prices of poultry meat and eggs.
A cut in duty would help the feed industry reduce the feed prices and small farmers might benefit from it, he said.
The budget has also proposed raising import duty on starch, natural honey and many processed food items to protect the local industry.
The government slapped a 25 per cent import duty on such products.
People engaged in sea fishing would get benefit as the government cut the import duty on fishing net to 1.0 per cent from the existing 5.0 per cent.
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