Newsprint import duty now at 10pc

June 30, 2013

Finance Bill-2013 passed in JS
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Saturday announced the reduction of import duty on newsprint at 10 per cent from proposed 25 per cent in the budget for fiscal 2013-14.
He also waived the proposed 5.0 per cent supplementary duty on newsprint import.
The new import duty is, however, got a hike from earlierconcessionary 3.0 percent.
The finance minister also exempted import duty on printing plate. Muhith while placing the new budget on June 6 slapped 9 per cent duty on import of the plate, used in printing industry.
As the parliament passed the Finance Bill-2013, Muhith urged the local newsprint producers to produce standard and quality newsprint as per the demand of newspaper industry.
Earlier Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (Noab) expressed concern over a budgetary proposal for increasing tax on newsprint imports and urged the government for withdrawal of the proposal.
In a statement it said when the newspaper industry is faced with various crises, the government in its proposed budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year has hiked the import taxes on newspaper from 3 percent to 25 percent.
“Inclusive of 3 percent import duty, vat, tax and insurance, we now pay a total of 23 percent duty to import each tonne of newsprint. If the proposal is implemented, the total duty would be 57 to 58 percent. It would shoot up the overall publication costs by 28 percent,” said Noab, adding that the prices of imported newsprint were already on the rise.
BSS Adds: Terming the national budget for fiscal year 2013-14 as a roadmap of development and progress, Muhith urged the opposition not to enforce hartal of violence for the sake of a proper implementation of the fiscal plan.
“You enforce hartal, but not violent hartal . . . don’t kill people and destroy their property,” the finance minister told the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) in his concluding speech on the budget for the fiscal 2013-14.
“I have prepared this budget with my wisdom, merit and hard labour . . . the Prime Minister has guided me and I have also taken opinion from different stakeholders . . . implementation of this budget would help Bangladesh achieve middle income country by 2021,” he said.
People’s welfare is given special attention in the budget and there was no impact on the prices of the essentials in the market after the announcement of this budget, he said, adding that overall public investment witnessed a rise by two percent.
During his speech the finance minister announced to cut tax, duties and Value Added Tax (VAT) from a number of products and items, including industrial raw materials, plastic products and aluminium, fire safety equipment, newsprint and printing plate.
He also announced to withdraw duty on three imported drugs used for treating cancer. The minister said he proposed area-wise VAT at retail level at Tk 3000, Tk 6000, Tk 9,000 and Tk 12,000. He announced to reduce the VAT to Tk 8,000 from Tk 9,000 and Tk 11,000 from Tk 12,000.
About the Padma Bridge, he said the government planned to construct the Padma bridge with own finance.
Tender has already been floated and cooperation has been sought from some international organizations to evaluate this tender. The forex reserve is now also US$15.3 billion, he added.
The finance minister thanked leader of the opposition Begum Khaleda Zia and opposition lawmakers for taking part in the discussion on the budget.

-With The Independent input

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