To attract more foreign investment and increase exports, industries at the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) have sought tax exemption and non-financial incentive similar to the investors at the Economic Zones (EZs).
The Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) sent a letter to the chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) on September 4, seeking such facilities.
The BEPZA said Bangladesh has been lagging behind in attracting foreign investment due to a lack of proper facilities for the foreigners.
"If the tax exemption and other facilities are made similar as EZs, investment, exports and employment generation would be increased at Mongla, Uttara, Ishwardi and other EPZs," said the letter, signed by BEPZA Executive Chairman Major General S M Salahuddin Islam.
The letter also said the industrial units set up at the EPZs till December 31, 2011 are being provided with a 10-year basis tax exemption. Meanwhile, the industrial units set up at Dhaka, Chattogram, Karnaphuli, Cumilla and Adamjee EPZs after January 1, 2012 are being given 100 percent tax exemption for the first and second year, 50 percent for the next two years (third and fourth) and 25 percent for the fifth year.
In addition, the industrial units in Ishwardi, Uttara and Mongla EPZs are getting 100 percent tax exemption in the first three years, while 50 percent for next three years and 25 percent for the next one year.
On the other hand, the industrial units being set up at EZs under the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) are being given 10-year tax exemption. They are enjoying 100 percent exemption for the first three years while 80 percent for the fourth year, 70 percent for the fifth year, 60 percent for the sixth year, 50 percent for the seventh year, 40 percent for the eighth year, 30 percent for the ninth year and 20 percent for the tenth year.
The Business Standard has obtained a copy of the letter. As per the letter, each industrial unit set up at EPZs before March 22, 2009 are allowed to import two/three cars duty-free. But the units set up after the deadline are not allowed to enjoy the facilities. But the industrial units set up at EZs keep on enjoying the facilities, added the letter.
An NBR official told BSS that they want more expansion of private investment and export in private sector but at the same time revenue collection of government is needed to be increased. "So, the NBR would take decision considering all the aspects," he added.