PMO approves protective duty to shield local industry
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tabled a number of changes to the Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) Act on Wednesday which would expand the body’s mandate on trade and tariff related tasks.
The PMO renamed the commission as the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) and tasked it with dealing with trade related aspects, in addition to its traditional role of monitoring dumping by any of the country’s trading partners, a senior PMO official said.
However, retained among the proposed changes to the act was a provision for imposing protective duties on imported products which could potentially harm local industries.
Tariff commission Member (trade policy department) Shah Md. Abu Raihan Alberuni said yesterday’s meeting okayed the draft act, which will now be submitted to the parliament secretariat soon for enactment in the Jatiya Sangsad.
“We hope the next parliament session will pass the amendment bill,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
“The new act will appear in a new look which will be more accurate and more suitable for the country. The working area of the Commission will be broader to cater to various trade related issues.”
On July 4, the cabinet formed a high-level committee headed by Principal Secretary to the PMO Nojibur Rahman and comprising five other members and tasked it with finalizing the changes to the act.
Other members are the secretaries for commerce, industries, and the finance division, the chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission, and the chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR).
According to the draft act, BTTC will recommend to impose protective customs duties on imports of various finished products and raw materials. Following the recommendations, the ministry of finance will impose the duty , if found viable, to protect the country’s Infant Industries.
Sources said the private sector, particularly major chamber bodies, have endorsed the proposed protective duty.