Thursday, March 21, 2019 | ePaper

Gold auction after 10 years planned

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Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
The government on Wednesday decided to hold regular auction of seized gold at Bangladesh Bank with a view to curbing smuggling of the precious metal and streamlining local trade.
The decision came from a high-level meeting of government officials,             
with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has not held any auction of seized gold since 2008 despite rules to do so regularly, leading to pile up yellow metal in its vaults.
Officials said, the meeting also decided that those who are holding illegal gold now can legalize those after paying tax Tk 1000 (per bhori) to the national exchequer, while for import of gold one has to pay Tk 2000 per bhori as tax and 5.0 per cent VAT.
Illegal gold can be legalised after organizing a gold fair, decided the meeting.
Secretaries of Finance and Internal Resource Division and Ministry of Commerce attended the meeting held at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
The government earlier formulated gold policy to make import and export of the precious metal easier and ensure transparency and accountability of its trade in the local market.
Officials said the concern ministry would issue a SRO by this month making the gold policy effective.
"BB will hold the auction after issuance of the SRO," an anonymous Finance Ministry official told The New Nation yesterday.
He said a huge amount of seized gold remains stuck in BB vaults, as the central bank have not arranged auction for many years. "This has created short supply of gold in legal sources paving the way of unabated gold smuggling into the country. In this context, the government decided to arrange auction of seized gold regularly," he added.

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