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Lift 5.0pc AT on poultry, fish feed raw materials import

FIAB, BPICC leaders demand at press conference

FE Report | October 27, 2019 00:00:00

Leaders of two associations involving poultry and feed industries have demanded withdrawal of 5.0 per cent advanced tax (AT) on import of raw materials for poultry and fish feed to save the sector of the country.

They placed a charter of demands at a press conference styled 'Withdraw AT on import of raw materials for the poultry, fish and dairy feed', at the National Press Club in the capital on Saturday.

The demands also include removal of a 5.0 per cent tax at source on sourcing raw materials from domestic sources.

Feed Industries Association of Bangladesh (FIAB) and Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) organised the event.

Mentioning that the feed industry is a VAT-exempted sector, BPICC President Moshiur Rahman questioned the rationality of imposing AT on the sector and realising the same from them.

The AT and the tax at source have increased the production costs which have hit the industry, he said cautioning the small and medium scale poultry, fish and dairy farms are likely to be hit hard by it.

FIAB General Secretary Md Ahsanuzzaman presented a keynote paper. He noted that the feed comprises 60-70 per cent of poultry production costs.

The paper mentioned that the poultry sector was a tax exempted one until fiscal year 2014-15 (FY '15). Later, the government imposed taxes on the sector on several occasions despite the fact that the sector really needed to remain a tax-exempted one till 2030.

The poultry and poultry and fish industries, and dairy have been passing through a critical time, said the leaders.

"The feed industries have been trying hard to provide quality feed at competitive prices so that other sub-sectors like broiler, layer, poultry breeding, aquaculture and dairy farms can survive," the paper said.

Ahsanuzzaman said the government from the current financial year has imposed the AT and tax at source which is causing substantial hike in feed production costs.

He said: "After our repeated communication with the fisheries and livestock ministry informing them about our urgencies, the government, National Broad of Revenue (NBR) and the Ministry of Finance issued a notification with an amended SRO on October 13, 2019.

The SRO said poultry, cattle or animal health companies, poultry, dairy, fish feed producers, authorised by the department of livestock, or fisheries or fish feed producing companies will be VAT exempted if they imports raw materials under HS Code:2309.90.90.

The FIAB secretary said the NBR mistakenly used 'the HS Code 2309.90.90' which only comprises fish feed related products.

He urged to take immediate steps for making a correction in the HS Code incorporating poultry and dairy feed in it.

FIAB President Ihtesham B Shahjahan said while sourcing maize, rice bran and other materials form the domestic sources, the government has imposed a 2.0 to 5.0 per cent tax at source on them.

"How could we collect tax from small scale farmers or traders who have no TIN," he posed a query.

BPICC Vice President Shamsul Arefin Khaled said more than 30,000 poultry farms were forced to shut their business amid bird flu and low prices of poultry products.

The existing 70,000 farms, most of which are small and medium scale ones, are struggling to survive amid a persisting deflation in the whole sector, the leader said.

He urged the government to withdraw the AT and keep it outside the purview of the tax till 2030.

President of Breeders' Association of Bangladesh Rakibur Rahman noted that the government has withdrawn the 5.0 per cent custom duty on imports of ammonia binder, liver protector, renal protector, respiratory protector, vaccines stabiliser in the name of feed raw materials.

However, the products have no relation with feed production, he pointed out. On the other hand, the government has imposed 5.0 per cent AT on maize import, one of the key ingredients for the feed industries, he added.

BPICC President Moshiur said the country's poultry meat production reached 7.4 million tonnes, milk 9.8 million tonnes and egg 17.10 billion pieces in the last financial year.

"The feed industry made a great contribution to turn the sector to a high producing one by constantly providing quality feed at competitive prices to the farmers," he added.

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