The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has issued a circular halving the customs duty on sugar import in a bid to reduce the price of such essential item and also to bring stability in the market.
The circular, signed by NBR Chairman, said that the import duty of sugar having high test and colourless non-refined sugar has been fixed at Tk 1,500 per ton. The duty for other sugar has been fixed at Tk 3,000 per ton.
The new duty rate would be in force immediately and it would remain effect until March 31, 2024, reports BSS.
The customs duty of non-refined sugar was earlier Tk 3,000 per ton which was Tk 6,000 per ton for other sugar.
Currently, the sugar importers have to pay 15 percent VAT, 30 percent regulatory duty, two percent advance income tax apart from Tk 3,000 tax for per ton sugar. That duty has been reduced to Tk 1,500 per ton.
If calculated, more than 60 percent tax is being imposed on import of sugar up to the reach of the consumer level which is around Tk 40 to Tk 42.
Now, per kg sugar is being sold at Tk 135 to Tk 140 in the kitchen market. In order to rein in the price of sugar, the government has undertaken a number of steps including reduction of duty in the current year. But, the price of sugar is yet to come at desired level.
At this time, the local production of sugar constitutes one percent of the overall demand which is around 30,000 tonnes annually whereas the annual import of sugar is around 22 lakh to 24 lakh tonnes.
Usually non-refined sugar is being imported in the country. The sugar refiners usually produce sugar after importing raw material or non-refined sugar.