Taxes on Raw Jute and Jute Products at Source Should be Lifted: SCB

Shippers’ Council of Bangladesh (SCB) has observed that there is no indication in the budget proposal to save jute industry and jute sector, though priority to agriculture, electricity, energy and communications sector in the national budget of fiscal 2014-15 likely to play a positive role for overall development.

Besides, reduced duty on raw material import and incentives for exports are the positive features of the budget, while 2.5 per cent reduction of corporate tax and imposition of super tax for wealthy community are justified within the budget.

In a reaction to the national budget of 2014-15,  Md. Rezaul Karim, Chairman, SCB, said budget proposal for 7.3 per cent GDP growth and keeping inflation within 7 per cent may facilitate achieving the target and keep development process continuous.

He said provisions for infrastructural development in the budget for Padma Bridge, tunnel under the river Karnaphully, Deep Sea Port, four lane highway, LNG Terminal etc will encourage private sector. Tax holiday for Dhaka and Chittagong Stock Exchange until 2019 is welcomed.

The SCB chairman, however, observed that unfortunately, there is no indication in the budget proposal to save jute industry and jute sector, nor any provision to protect jute goods exporters’ interest although demand for jute goods have been increasing. As the important jute sector has not been duly evaluated in the budget, the SCB chief proposed that all taxes on raw jute and jute goods including the same at source should be withdrawn.

Besides, he was of the opinion that taking cost of living index into consideration, individual tax limit should be increased to Tk 3 lakh. In addition, duty, VAT, Income Tax etc collection process need to be updated.

Moreover, the implementation of annual  development programme should be carried out with  transparency under the budget proposal. He also stressed the need to pay special attention to e-tendering system.