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Tax on MS rod cut after demand from steel lobby

Doulot Akter Mala | July 01, 2019 00:00:00

The government has slashed the tax on the import of mild steel (MS) rod to Tk 1,000 per tonne, though it was increased from the tariff value.

Until Sunday, the tariff value was Tk 900.

In the budget announced on June 13, 2019, the Value Added Tax (VAT) on MS rod was imposed at Tk 2,000 per tonne.

The revised rate of specific tax comes into force from today (Monday).

In the Finance Act-2019, passed on Saturday, the government slashed the proposed specific tax after demands from the steel industry lobbyists.

Specific tax has been reduced to Tk 1,200 for MS product produced from local/imported scarp for re-rolling.

However, the proposed specific tax remained unchanged to Tk 2,000 for ingot/billet produced from meltable scrap and MS product produced from ingot/billet.

Officials said with the downward revision of the specific tax, VAT (value added tax) on MS products would go up to the maximum of Tk 250 per tonne.

After the budget announcement, the Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association (BSMA) said the price of MS rod will rise by Tk 10,350 per tonne due to the hike in taxes and other fiscal measures.

Talking to the FE, BSMA chairman Manwar Hossain said they are yet to analyse the impact of the revised tax in the finance act.

He said they will come up with an impact analysis on prices of MS rod in two to three days.

In the act, specific tax for ship scrap has been fixed at Tk 1,000 from the existing VAT rate of 5.0 per cent.

The government has also kept the VAT rate on ride-sharing services unchanged to 5.0 per cent like the 2018 fiscal year.

In the budget, the VAT rate was increased to 7.5 per cent for ride-sharing services.

VAT rate of e-commerce has also been cut to 5.0 per cent from the proposed 7.5 per cent.

In the law, the customs duty for the import of paper board, duplex board, card board, Swedish board and folding board has been reduced to 15 per cent from the existing 25 per cent.

Customs officials said the import duty has been cut downward to check the abuse of bonded warehouse facility by paper board importers.

The customs wing also imposed 10 per cent regulatory duty (RD) on the import of mustard oil while 5.0 per cent RD on mustard seed.

For liquid oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, RD has been cut to 15 per cent from the existing 20 per cent. In the proposed budget, import duty for those products was 10 per cent.

The customs wing has imposed 5.0 per cent RD on import of BOPP film, a raw material of polythene.

Supplementary duty (SD) on the import of parts of refrigerators has been increased to 30 per cent from existing 20 per cent.

The customs wing also imposed 20 per cent import tax on blender, mixer and grinder.

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