From now on, jewellery manufacturers will be allowed to import raw gold to refine it locally.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its nod in this regard by approving an amendment to the existing "Gold Policy 2018" in a meeting on Wednesday.
"I think this is a positive step. Now our importers can import raw gold and necessary equipment to refine it locally," Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters while briefing on the outcomes of the cabinet body meeting.
As part of a move to formalise the import of bulk gold from abroad, the government earlier framed the "Gold Policy 2018" in order to check the smuggling of the precious metal.
Under this policy, businessmen can now import a certain amount of gold in bulk for jewellery manufacturing purpose after receiving licenses from Bangladesh Bank.
"Now, they can import unrefined gold as well to refine it in the country," said the Finance Minister.
Cabinet body approves other proposals
Meanwhile, a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase approved seven proposals from different entities under different ministries.
The committee approved a proposal of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) to procure 23,650 SPC poles from Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory Ltd (BMTF) at a cost of Tk 32.37 crore for extending rural electrification network in Rajshahi, Rangpur, Khulna and Barisal divisions.
BMTF is an enterprise of Bangladesh Army.
A proposal of Public Works Department (PWD) received the nod of the cabinet body to award a Tk 80.32 crore contract to the Joint Venture of The Civil Engineers Ltd, and The Orbital Bangladesh to construct 20-story residential building at Demra Police lines for the members of police.
The committee gave its nod to National Housing Authority to extend the cost of UK-based consultant IMC Worldwide by Tk 13.04 crore for a project titled "Improved Livelihood for Low-income People". After the extension, now the cost will go up to Tk 58.42 crore.
Four separate proposals of the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) received the nod of the committee.
Of the proposals, the RHD will award a Tk 151.22 crore contract to the Joint Venture of MM Builders & Engineers Ltd, Janmabumi Nirman, and Ohiduzzaman Chowdhury (MNO) to construct Shalla Jalshukh Road at Habiganj.
The RHD will award a Tk 290.26 crore to Taher Brothers Ltd, for construction of Chattogram part of Dhaka-Chattogram Highways to upgrade into four-lane and Tk 556.54 crore contract to Joint Venture of Abdul Monem Ltd, and Spectra Engineers Ltd, for construction of Cumilla part of the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway to upgrade it in four-lanes.
The RHD's proposal to cancel and re-evaluate the Tk 148.3 crore contract of the Joint Venture of MM Builders & Engineers Ltd, and Mozahar Enterprise Pvt Ltd for upgrading Kurigram-Nageswari-Bhurungamari into national highway was accepted by the committee.
The committee approved a proposal of the RHD to extend the cost of the consultant of Cross Border Road Improvement Project by Tk 18.88 crore.
The Joint Venture of Oriental Consultants Global Co Ltd, Japan, Oriental Consultants Co Ltd, Japan and PADECO Co Ltd, Japan in association with SMEC JBSI, ACE, DDC, BCL now remain engaged in the project as consultant at a contract value of Tk 236.04 crore.
After extension the cost will go up to Tk 254.93 crore.