Industry Desk: Jewellers have demanded a ten-year tax holiday for gold refineries in the country to flourish the industry of the precious metal.
At a pre-budget press conference yesterday, the Bangladesh Jeweller’s Association (Bajus) wanted the government to provide the businesses with a 50% cash incentive for a minimum 20% value addition to promote the exports of gold bars, coins, and ornaments.
It also called for reducing the value-added tax (VAT) to 3% from 5% at present on retail sales of gold, silver, and diamond ornaments to make them competitive with theneighbouring country of India.
Bajus Vice President Anwar Hossain presented the budget proposal at the press conference held at the Bashundhara City Shopping Complex in the capital.
SayemSobhanAnvir, president of the association and managing director of Bashundhara Group, was also present on the occasion.
Anwar Hossain claimed that local jewellers are facing setbacks when attempting to import capital machinery as their customs duty ranges from 30% to 60%.
Bashundhara Group has already set up the first ever gold refinery in South Asia, according to Bajus.
“Bangladesh will export locally manufactured gold bars soon, which may add more foreign currency to the national reserves,” said Anwar Hossain.
Bajus leaders hope that the gold industry has the potential to attract more investment if the customs duty on importing gold ore goes down from 5% to 1%. Besides, the duty on importing semi-refined gold can be reduced from 10% to 5% to flourish the local industry of gold bars and hand-made ornaments.
Apart from the gold sector, Bajus also mentioned that diamond ornaments can make a 40% value addition if they get an affordable duty structure on importing raw materials.
Bajus former president Dilip Kumar Roy, vice-president Repnul Hasan, general secretary Dilip Kumar Agarwala, assistant secretaries Masudur Rahman and Samit Ghosh Opu, and taxation standing committee member secretary Paban Kumar Agarwala, among others, were present at the press conference.
Bajus Adviser Ruhul Amin Rasel moderated the session.
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