The Bangladesh government has provided incentives to the local pharmaceuticals and textile industries by exempting duty on a number of raw materials in the proposed national budget placed before parliament on Thursday.
Finance minister AMA Muhith announced exemption and concessionary rate of duties on some pharmaceuticals raw materials including that for cancer medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
He said Bangladesh produces medicines of world standard as the sector has developed advanced technology in Bangladesh with a stiff growth in medicine exports to 160 countries of the world.
The government also proposed exemption of import duties on textile raw materials including flax fibre
and flax tow as a continuation of the government support to the 100 per cent export-oriented sector.
Besides, the government proposed a reduction in regulatory duty on import of raw materials to keep both the production cost and market price of MS rod low.
As per the incentives, duty levied on import of raw materials of Ferro Alloy was cut to 10 per cent from 15 per cent while specific customs duty on import of Sponge Iron was lowered to Tk 800 a tonne from Tk 1000 a tonne.
The government took the decision after it observed that raw materials import for iron and steel industries decreased that consequently weighed on the revenue collection from this sector, Muhith said.
To facilitate local printing industries, the government proposed a reduction in import duties on their raw materials like flexo and gravure in liquid form to 10 per cent.
On the other hand, it increased supplementary duties on printed leaflet, brochure, printed postcard, printed card, calendar to 25 per cent on import and 20 per cent supplementary duty.
The government also raised import duties on finished mobile battery charger, UPS/IPS, voltage stabiliser to 15 per cent, automatic circuit barkers to 10 per cent and raised supplementary duty on lamp holders to 20 per cent.
It, however, proposed a reduction in import duties on raw materials for electrical goods including carbon rod and formed core at different rates.
Moreover, the government lowered import duty on milk powder to 10 per cent when imported in bulk quantities to make milk powder affordable to the poor.
Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia have allowed incentives on importation of filled milk powder as it can give the similar nutrients to those who cannot afford whole milk powder.