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Lower ‘VAT on jewellery’

FE REPORT | April 04, 2024 00:00:00

Local jewellers on Wednesday urged the government to lower the Value Added Tax (VAT) on jewellery items from existing 5.0 per cent to 3.0 per cent in the next budget.

They also called for installing Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) machines at all jewellery shops, reducing customs duty on partially refined gold, lowering taxes on imported rough diamonds, and introducing a 10-year tax holiday for gold refiners.

Bangladesh Jeweller's Association (BAJUS) leaders came up with these suggestions at a pre-budget press conference held at its office in the city's Panthapath area, according to a statement.

BAJUS general secretary Badal Chandra Roy, Vice-president Masudur Rhaman, and adviser Ruhul Amin Rasel were present at the conference.

Chairman of BAJUS standing committee on tariff and taxation Anwar Hossain presented a set of 15 proposals for the budget for fiscal year 2024-25.

He said the 'Gold Policy-2018 (amended)-2021' is yet to be implemented although three years have passed since its amendment, thereby resulting in many challenges facing the jewellery sector.

He noted that the absence of appropriate policies, disparities in duties and tax structures, and the elevated costs associated with importing raw materials and machinery have collectively steered the sector towards a downward trajectory, diverging from the nation's economic growth path.

"The local gold market worth around Tk 2.0 trillion has failed to duly contribute to the national economy because of improper taxation structure," he added.

The BAJUS said installation of EFD machines at 40,000 jewellery shops across the country will help the government earn huge revenue and ensure equality in the sector.

The trade body also called for lowering customs duty (CD) from existing 25 per cent to 2.0 per cent to help the diamond market flourish in Bangladesh as well as create opportunities to export.

The local jewellers also urged the government for amending baggage rules to prevent tourists from carrying gold bars, as well as curtail tax-free gold ornaments' limit to 50 grams from existing 100 grams.

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