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Steel mill owners against fixing prices of rods PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 April 2008

Leaders of the steel and re-rolling industry urged the government to free the import of old scrap ships and vassals from the control of certain vested groups to reduce the cost of scraps and building materials, reports agency.

They made the plea to the government at a press conference held at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity at a time when the authorities have initiated a move to fix the price of rods and other building materials to protect the construction industry from surging price of the building materials.

President of the Bangladesh Rerolling Mills Association Ali Hossain and Secretary General Madul Alam Masud, and Secretary General of the Bangladesh Steel Mills Owners Association Fazlur Rahman addressed the press conference. They said fixing the prices are opposed to the concept of the market economy based on competitiveness.

It will hurt the industry because if the mils and factories are forced to sell products below the production cost, they added. “It will erode the business confidence,” they said adding that millions of construction workers and factory workers may lose jobless.

They said the owners of the steel and re-rolling mills should be allowed to import scrap ships freeing the import from the monopoly of the few importers now controlling a large part of the raw materials.

Moreover, the government should withdraw the import duty, VAT and advance income tax which together constitute 28 percent of the import cost for reducing the cost of raw materials of the industry.

The government should also allow the import of power generators free of duty so that mill owners can set up their captive power plants to run production unimpeded.

The PSI charge should, moreover, be reduced to 0.5 percent from 1.0 percent as first step to freeing the business from the control of the PSI companies.

The government may realize the import duty on the basis of the import volume to be ascertained by weighting in the port. The PSI companies cheat the importers by issuing false clean report of findings.

The government should also remove the tariff discrepancy which 10 percent for import of melting scraps and re-rolling scraps while it is only Taka 1,000 for per tonne of scraps from import of vassals and old ships carried out by ship-breakers.

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