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NBR promises zero tax on farm machinery import PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Agency

The National Board of Revenue announced Monday that the upcoming budget would levy no taxes on imported agriculture machinery.

Speaking at a pre-budget meeting at the NBR’s conference room, the board’s chairman Mohammad Abdul Majid said the next budget would also extend the agricultural sector’s tax-holiday wherever possible.

The NBR has decided to hold pre-budget talks with representatives from 22 national sectors. The first meeting took place Monday with representatives from the agricultural sector.

Representatives from 20 organisations attended the first meeting. Majid said the next budget would focus on revitalising the troubled sector.

He said the worldwide slowdown in food production had reduced the availability of food grain in the international market. This has worsened our situation at a time when the country has suffered from natural disasters during recent harvest seasons.’

The NBR chairman said the only solution to the crises was to increase domestic food production. He said the caretaker government was willing to forego the Tk 67 crore in taxes the agricultural sector would have paid to reduce imports costing thousands of crores.

‘We should also concentrate more on developing small and medium enterprises as they can play a vital role in poverty alleviation through increased employment opportunities,’ said Majid.

‘We will do whatever we can to reduce or remove taxes on imported power pumps, shallow tubewells and generators as well as other agricultural equipment,’ he said.

President of the Bangladesh Agro-Processors’ Association Amjad Hossain Chowdhury proposed extending the tax-holiday for the agro-industrial sector for a further five years.

Uttam Kumar Dev, research director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, called on the caretaker government to withdraw the 10 percent tax on power pump imports and extend the tax holiday in the fishery, poultry and dairy industries until 2015. The current tax-holiday expires in June.

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