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Extra tariff on foreign fruits import may frustrate importers

Published : 11 Jun 2021 09:20 PM | Updated : 12 Jun 2021 12:08 AM

Some foreign fruits like Malta, orange and others will go beyond the consumer purchasing capacity, if the additional tariff on import in the proposed budget is not withdrawn. 

Foreign fruits importers in a recent post budget reaction expressed such doubt. 

The budget for the fiscal year has proposed to increase tariff on importing foreign fruits especially Orange and Malta.  In the budget, it has been proposed to increase the traffic 0.50 cents per kg on importing Malta and Orange. 

“If the proposed tariff is effective, traders will suffer greatly at this time of the pandemic. As the price of such essential fruits will go up, these will also go beyond mass people’s purchasing capacity,” Bangladesh Fresh Fruits Importers Association (BFFIA) president Salimul Haque Essa told Bangladesh Post. 

“The proposed is yet to pass in the parliament, however, businessmen who have earlier placed order are now saying to unload their goods (fruits) from port with new tariff. In this case, their products are now rotting at the port,” added Salimul Haque Essa. 

As the fruit Malta has considerable medicinal qualities like vitamin C, minerals, beneficial Harmon, and phytochemicals, mass people largely depend on this fruit to increase their immune system against Covid-19. At this point in time, the health of ordinary people is likely to be at risk. 

Sirajul Islam said, “We have available fruits during the peak season of juicy fruits (summer fruits) in our country.  But in other months the country has to rely largely on imported fruits. Moreover, imported fruits are perishable products and due to the limited scale communication system of the country, fruits importers are already facing burden. Malta is also produced in our country which is available for limited time.  In this situation imposing high tariff on import could discourage fruit importers”.  

BFFIA’s other members including General Secretary Sirajul Islam, Deputy General Secretary Mohammad Yousuf, Deputy General Secretary Nuruddin Ahmed, Treasurer Haji Shamsul Haque Hawlader, Religious Secretary Abdur Rahman, Education Secretary Zahidul Islam and 25 fresh fruit importers have also expressed such fear. 

They said, tariff must reduce in the proposed budget for the next fiscal 2021-2022. As it’s an affordable fruits for the mass people and they are largely depending on it to fight against the pandemic, the government should reconsider the demands.