Such exemption is unprecedented in the history of Bangladesh. Even though the task of re-exporting those imported goods, machinery and parts is given to the state-owned Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), in reality the Russian contractors- Atomostroyexport - appointed for the implementation of the plant will reap the benefit of tax exemption.
The tax and duty exemption was given through a special order in August 27, signed the chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the secretary of the Internal Resources Division.
The order said that, BAEC will be the importer and exporter of all the goods, machinery and parts of Rooppur nuclear power plant.
However, the goods which are not directly related with the electricity production of the plant will not be under the tax exemption. Those include office materials, vehicles and household materials.
Previously, in this project the goods and services imported under the name of BAEC and under the bills of contractors were given exemption from tax at source.
Meanwhile, along with this, exemption has been given on the income tax of the Russian and foreign employees employed by the Russian contractors and vetted by the BAEC.
These tax exemptions were given on July 28 thorough separate special orders signed by the NBR chairman.
Through these special orders, exemption at tax at source was given on the goods, machinery and parts imported under the name of BAEC and on the contractor bills of sub-contractor employed by Atomostroyexport, the associated Russian contractor for Rooppur power plant to put the project work on a fast lane.
However, some conditions were given to avail the tax exemption. The import bill, project implementation bill and supply bill associated with the power plant implementation will have to be vetted by the BAEC, the terms say.
The exemption will stay on as long as the project work will go on. The exemptions will not stand for the import bills, contractor bills and supply bills which are not related with the implementation of the power plant.
Bangladeshi sub-contractors employed by the Russian company have to pay regular income taxes on their incomes from the project.
The order said that these special privileges were given as per the subsection 4 of Section 44 of Income Tax Act 1984.
On May 16, VAT exemption was given on six goods and services collected locally for Rooppur construction.
On June 7, the government declared Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and its sorrowing areas as tax station for import and export of goods. In September 2, the government has also declared those areas as warehousing station.
On December 25 last year, Bangladesh and Russia signed a general contract for the construction and commissioning of the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna at a cost of $12.65 billion.