Jewellery businessmen have proposed to cut the value-added tax (VAT) on retail sales of gold to 2 percent, saying that slashing the VAT rate will help increase the government’s revenue collection from the booming sector.
At present, the jewellers have to pay 5 percent VAT on retail sales, which is higher than neighbouring India’s 3 percent.
Leaders of Bangladesh Jewelers’ Samity (BAJUS) placed the demand at a pre-budget discussion at the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in the capital on Thursday.
NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem presided over the meeting. The trade body also demanded lowering supplementary duty for importing gold bar to Tk 1000 per tola from existing Tk 2,000.
NBR Chairman Abu Hena Rahmatul Muneem said, “We have received your written demand. We will assess the proposal and consider the acceptable points. We will process it officially.”
On behalf of BAJUS President Sayem Sobhan Anvir, Vice-President Anwar Hossain placed the proposal at the meeting. Former President Dr Dilip Kumar Roy and Vice-President Gulzar Ahmed were also present on the occasion.
At the meeting, BAJUS vice-president Anwar Hossain expressed hope that the gold sector’s revenue contribution will be doubled if the VAT rate is cut to 2 percent.
“The managing director of a leading industrial conglomerate became the president of our organisation recently. He has taken a big project for a gold refinery involving Tk 120 billion. The refinery aims to export world-class gold after meeting the local demand. We hope the jewellery sector will contribute to the country’s export income in near future,” he said.
The BAJUS vice-president mentioned that Bangladesh’s gold jewellery products has a good reputation across the globe.
“Many goldsmiths migrated abroad due to lack of work opportunities in the country. Besides, the customers also buy gold from neighbouring countries due to lower taxation compared to that in Bangladesh,” he said. BAJUS has some 10,000 registered members. It is now conducting district tours to reach out to 28,000-30,000 jewellers across the country, Anwar added.