The government has raised the regulatory duty on rice imports to 25 percent from existing 3 percent and kept the customs duty unchanged at 25 percent, in keeping with the government’s decision to curb imports of rice.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a circular in this regard on Wednesday with immediate effect. Besides, it said, the importers have to pay five percent Advance Income Tax on rice import.
As a result, now, rice importers have to pay a total of 55 percent tax and duty. Bangladesh’s private traders imported 303,000 tons of rice in the first 10 months of this fiscal year, forcing local farmers to sustain “huge losses”.
The decision to raise the import tax and duty has been taken considering the huge losses being incurred by farmers, said NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan. The new decision will help protect local farmers from future losses, he added.
On May 19, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the government would take all measures to export rice, even if it means compensating for losses exporters might incur in the process, to ensure fair prices for farmers. Earlier on May 20, the parliamentary standing committee on food ministry recommended to stop rice import.