Automation of NBR for economic recovery crucial: Experts
Staff Reporter :
Experts have opined that expediting ongoing modernization programmes of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for achieving yearly target could play a crucial role for economic recovery from Covid pandemic.
Import has remained relatively stable due to effective measures takenÂ by Customs and Port Authorities, although export volume has significantly declined in the current year, they said on Sunday.
They made the remarks while speaking at a virtual workshop on workplace health safety for business continuity during Covid-19 for Chattogram Customs House organized by Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund II, which is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of World Bank Group and funded by the Foreign of Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
Speaking on the occasion, Nusrat Nahid, Private Sector Specialist of International Finance Corporation of World Bank Group, said that the pandemic has left negative impact on trade that is anticipated to last a few more years as large scale order cancelation and deferment has affected RMG and leather goods reemphasizing the dire need to export diversification.
"But the NBR has taken some timely measures in crisis response like legal provisions for national single window for trade, e-certificates of origin, e-payment of Customs duties to cover up the losses," she added.
"Expediting and completing ongoing modernization programs of NBR would be crucial for the country's economic progress, especially for recovery from Covid," she said.
Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO of BUILD said that it is important to ensure proper hygiene and safety in the workplace to prevent any disruption owing to the risks of Covid-19, she said.
The BUILD CEO said automation is an important line of future-oriented progress for facilitating trade and Covid-19 is meant to boost the automation. Â
M Fakhrul Alam, Commissioner of Chattogram Customs House, said that he has taken relevant steps, including introducing a public address system, operating a quick response team to monitor the maintenance of the safety measures in the Customs House.
As import and export had declined in the customs house, roster duty was introduced using 30-35% of officials at a time to obviate the risk of Covid-19 transmission he said.