Staff Correspondent: The Cabinet yesterdaydirected the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to take immediate steps to curtail the VAT on edible oil import to the lowest ceiling in the wake of the rising price of the essential item. The directive came from the Cabinet’s meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who joined it virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban. Other ministers were connected from the cabinet room of the Cabinet Division in Bangladesh Secretariat.
The government has already waived VAT at the retailer-level as the law minister told the meeting that he signed the paper (SRO) in this regard, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told reporters after the meeting.
“There is now 15 per cent VAT on edible oil at the import level. The NBR was directed to consider slashing it as much as possible until further order and take immediate action in this regard,” he said.
The Cabinet secretary said the VAT would not be waived completely rather it has to be brought down to its possible lowest ceiling.
“Our assumption that it would have a huge positive impact if a substantial amount of the existing 15 per cent VAT is slashed,” he said. Currently, there is a 15 per cent VAT at the production stage, 15 per cent at the import stage and 5 per cent at the retail level. Anwarul said the NBR was asked to consider whether the VAT can be reduced to its lowest ceiling following a discussion with the commerce ministry.
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