BAJUS demands 10 year ‘tax holiday’ for gold refinery

Staff Reporter
Bangladesh Jeweller’s Association (BAJUS) has demanded ten-year tax holiday for gold refinery to flourish the industry of precious metal.
The trade body also sought reduction in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5 to 3 percent on retail sales of gold, silver and diamond ornaments, placing pre-budget recommendations at a press conference at BAJUS head office at Bashundhara City Shopping Complex at Panthapath in the capital on Tuesday.
Bashundhara Group Managing Director and BAJUS President Sayem Sobhan Anvir was present while Vice-President Anwar Hossain presented the budget proposal before media.
Addressing the briefing, business leaders claimed that local businesses are facing setback due to high velocity duty, upto 60 percent on capital machinery import.
BAJUS leaders hoped that the gold industry has potential to fetch more investment if the complementary duty on importing gold ore goes down from 5 to 1 percent. Besides, the duty on importing semi-refined gold can be revised from 10 to 5 percent to flourish local industry of gold bars and hand-made ornaments.
The trade body hailed the Bashundhara Group for setting up first ever gold refinery in South Asia.
According to BAJUS, the annual demand of gold in Bangladesh is 40 tons while the global market transacts 47.4 hundred tons. “Bangladesh will export locally manufactured ‘gold bar’ soon which may add more foreign currency to national reserve,” read the statement mentioning that gold has more value addition capacity comparing to apparel industry.
The trade body urged the government to provide policy support to the growing industry which represents forty thousand businesses and creates employment of millions of people. Apart from gold sector, BAJUS also proposed the authorities concerned to set ‘business friendly’ duty on rough diamond to flourish ‘cutting and processing’ industry.
The businesses mentioned that diamond ornaments can make 40 percent value addition if they get affordable duty structure on importing raw materials. In the budget proposal, BAJUS spoke on the need for amendment to Baggage rules to inspire gold import in legal channel. It also reiterated its stance for rewarding customs staff while recovering of smuggled gold.
BAJUS leaders expressed their wellness to jointly work with the authorities concerned to assess the present situation of gold industry and impact of Baggage rules as well.

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 were, among others executive members, present at the press conference while adviser Ruhul Amin Rasel moderated the session.

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