May 24, 2013 | 01:54 AM (BD Time)
24 May, 2013 Friday
Chamber bodies to send proposal to NBR
Take measures in budget to protect local industries
. Business Reporter
Leaders of different business bodies are going to send a joint proposal to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for taking necessary measures in the next fiscal year's budget to protect the local industries, sources concerned said.
The chamber bodies are now busy to formulate the proposal paper containing a charter of demands. At the same time, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the apex trade body of the country, is taking preparations in this regard.
The demands in the proposal would include discouraging imports, checking under-invoicing, lowering value added tax on production, and providing long-term policy support to safeguard the local industries.
It is learnt that the FBCCI will place a full-fledged proposal before the NBR after receiving the demands from different chamber bodies.
Besides, the trade bodies will raise the demand of protecting the local industries during sector-wise discussions with the NBR.
According to business sources, huge quantities of legal and illegal finished goods are entering the country every year due to a liberal import policy and under-invoicing. As a result, products of local industries are facing uneven competition.
Local electronics and automobile industries have become the worst victim of the liberal import policy and under-invoicing.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) president Md Sabur Khan recently called on Commerce Minister GM Quader and urged him to take necessary measures for protecting the local industries.
He proposed to impose duties on imported finished goods. "It would be absolutely unwise to impose duties on industrial raw materials," he told the minister.
Apart from exporting traditional goods, he said steps should be taken to increase export of non-traditional goods. Besides, a comprehensive guideline should be formulated to create new markets and enhance export.
Former first vice-president of FBCCI Abul Kashem Ahmed said import must be discouraged to protect local industries. Import duties on finished products should be raised, while those involved in manufacturing sector should be provided with logistic support and incentives.
Ahmed said, "Import based trading business could not make any significant contribution to employment generation, when the manufacturing sectors have generated huge employment opportunities in the country."
He said different chambers of the country would lay emphasis on these issues in their budget proposal.
Former president of Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) and FBCCI director Shahedul Islam Helal said import should be discouraged to help flourish the local industries. Instead of spending huge foreign currency to import finished goods every year, it is now possible to meet the local requirement with the locally manufactured goods.
Helal said Bangladesh has attained self-reliance in manufacturing electronic and plastic goods. Entrepreneurs are joining this sector with huge investments.
"It is imperative to raise import duty on finished products and reduce import duty on capital machinery and raw materials," he said suggesting the importers to switch to manufacturing business.
Manikganj Chamber president and former FBCCI director Mahbub Islam Runu said that they would submit a concrete proposal to the government so that steps are taken in the next national budget to protect the local industries.
Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Foreign Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and other leading chambers are now busy with formulating their respective budget proposals for protecting the local industries.
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