Frozen food exporters call for reducing tax at source

Dhaka,  Wed,  20 September 2017
Published : 13 Jun 2017, 21:23:50

Frozen food exporters call for reducing tax at source

FE Report

The country's frozen food exporters Tuesday called for reducing tax at source from existing 0.70 per cent to 0.25 per cent and considering the same as final settlement.

They also asked for exemption of existing 5.0 per cent Advance Income Tax (AIT) on cash incentive and duty and tax on capital machinery.

The Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) highlighted these at a press conference on the proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2017-18.

Kazi Belayet Hossain, senior vice president and Abdul Baki , vice president of the BFFEA among others were present at the press meet.

BFFEA president Amin Ullah read out a written statement in which he said the frozen fish sector is passing through a hard time following decline in its export volume.

The government reduced tax at source to 0.70 per cent from 1.0 per cent until June 30, 2017 in the just-ended financial year.

But he said there is nothing to mention in the proposed budget about tax at source for the industry. "So we think tax at source will be deducted at 1.0 per cent from July 1, 2017," Mr Amin hoped.

If the authority deducts 1.0 per cent tax at source, the sector will face a great trouble as already frozen food shipment has dropped significantly.

He mentioned that the export earnings declined by nearly 11 per cent and 6.0 per cent in the FY 2014-15 and 2015-2016 respectively.

Mr Amin, also managing director of ARK Sea Foods Ltd, said expenditures on electricity, gas, transports and wages have increased by nearly 17.11 per cent now.

For this reason, exporters are facing tough competition with other countries in international market, the BFFEA president said.

He requested the government to reduce prices of electricity and gas and also re-fix corporate tax at 10 per cent to help increase local and foreign investment.

The association leader, however, said production of shrimp with traditional system has has fallen significantly due to climate change and also because of absence of necessary infrastructure.

So infrastructure development and semi-intensive production system are vital to increase shrimp production, the key export item, he felt.

He also emphasised on cultivation of vannamei variety shrimp as its rate of production is more than that of black tiger. The export of frozen hilsa should be allowed as its restriction has led to fall in export earnings.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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