Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

Push for tax cut on alcohol import

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Special Correspondent :
The Department of Narcotics Control has proposed for tax cut on import of alcoholic beverages in the upcoming budget in order to curb illegal import and to support the drinks business.
The Department sent the proposal to the concerned authorities in a recent letter signed by its Director General (DG) Md Jamal Uddin Ahmed.  
"We have urged the authorities to bring down the import duty for supporting drinks business and curb illegal import," a high official of Department of Narcotics Control told The New Nation yesterday wishing not to be named.
Currently, importers are paying nearly 600 per cent duty and taxes in importing alcoholic beverages.
According to Import Order 2015-18, licensed hotels and bars are allowed to procure alcoholic beverages from duty free shops and bonded warehouse of Bangladesh Porjotan Corporation after paying tax and supplementary duties at fixed rate to customs department and prior to permission from the Narcotics Department.
For bulk imports, they have to follow a set of conditions.
"This process is complex     
and costly and thereby it is discouraging bar operators to import alcohol through legal channel, but encouraging illegal import," said the official. "We have suggested a reasonable and stable tax framework to grow businesses of local bars and hotels and to prevent illegal entry of the alcohol beverages."
He also said illegal import is causing huge revenue losses for the government.
On January 23 this year, the Department of Narcotics held a meeting with licensed bar operators where traders proposed for the tax cut citing the prevailing tax structure on import of alcoholic beverages is 'extremely high,' calling it detrimental to their business.
High tax and excise duty is encouraging illegal import depriving the government of huge revenue every year.
 The meeting also discussed irregularities and inconsistency in operating bonded warehouse house and bars.

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