Apparel makers' demands include:
- Reduction of source tax from 0.5% to 0.25% for the next five years
- Keeping corporate tax unchanged at:
- 12% for general factories
- 10% for the certified green factories
- Withdrawal of 10% income tax on cash incentives
- Zero-duty on the chemical imported for use in ETPs
- Duty-free import of:
- Electricity efficient equipment
- Spare parts for fire safety equipment
The country's apparel exporters have urged the government to reduce the tax at source from 0.5% to 0.25% and keep it effective for the next five years.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) made the call at a pre-budget discussion meeting with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Wednesday.
The apparel makers also urged the government to keep corporate tax unchanged, at 12% for general factory owners and 10% for the certified green factory owners, for the next five years. They also demanded the withdrawal of a 10% income tax on cash incentives.
Considering the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the apparel sector, and in the greater interest of investment and exports, the government should keep the corporate tax unchanged and it should be effective for the next five years, said the business leaders who joined the meeting.
At the meeting, the BKMEA demanded zero-duty on the imported chemical used in effluent treatment plants (ETP) to ensure zero discharge of hazardous chemicals for the betterment of the environment.
It also called for the duty-free import of electricity efficient equipment or spare parts – such as LED lamps, lube lights and spare parts for fire safety equipment – to make factory environments friendlier and safer.
On top of that, apparel exporters also urged the government to ensure the hassle-free release of goods that are sent back by the global apparel brands and retailers due to the pandemic.
The BTMA demanded the withdrawal of 5% advance tax on importing PET chips, used as raw material for man-made fabrics.
Presiding over the pre-budget discussion meeting, NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said, "We want to provide more facilities for exporters. But, we feel sad when we see bonded fabrics on the open market in Islampur in Old Dhaka."
Commenting on the issue, BGMEA President Rubana Huq requested the NBR officials not to treat them like thieves due to irregularities committed by a few individuals.
She said they have the right to live with dignity.
Echoing a similar opinion, BKMEA First Vice President Mohammad Hatem said, "If anyone is convicted for such unholy practice, NBR should ban them for doing any business in future."