• Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Cement manufacturers for AIT refundable in the final budget

  • Published at 09:34 pm June 18th, 2020
Cement manufacturers for scrapping 5% advance tax
Data shows the consumption of cement across the country posted an average growth of 10-15% annually in the last 10 years Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Association seeks Tk750cr refundable AIT back

Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA) yesterday demanded the scrapping the non-refundable 3% advance income tax (AIT) and 3% import duty on raw materials of cement in the final budget for FY2020-21 fiscal year.

The association came up with the demands at a post-budget virtual press conference in the capital.

BCMA President Md Alamgir Kabir said,” We had requested the government to remove the 3% import duty on raw materials, 3% non-adjustable AIT and reduce the import duty on clinker to at least Tk300 a ton from the existing Tk500 in pre-budget proposals”.

“We are really frustrated that our demands were unaddressed in the proposed budget,” he said.

“If the government does not remove the 3% non-adjustable income tax, then at least it should be declared as adjustable tax”, he added.

The president said the cement manufacturers were passing through hardship as they had no sales during the countrywide closure in the last two-and-a-half months. Almost 90% of factories had stopped their production during the lockdown period, he added.

“Affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the sector counted a loss of about Tk3,000 crore from March 26 till now”, he added. 

“Our working capital will dwindle if the government keeps charging the AIT,” he lamented. 

Kabir said cement manufacturers for the past seven years including 2018-19 had deposited about Tk750 crore as adjustable AIT, but they did not get back the refundable money from the National Board of Revenue. The industry people sought back the money several times to the revenue board, but to no avail, he added.

“If the NBR releases the money at this difficult time,   cement companies who have been suffering from a capital crisis will be able to continue their business”, he added.

“The total investment in the sector stood at Tk42,000 crore, and every year the government earns around Tk5,000 crore in revenue from this sector”, said Kabir. 

“To generate taxes and revenue from this sector, the government should save our businesses and meet our logical demands in the final budget," he said.

Md Shahidullah, senior vice-president of BCMA, said: “Our demands were totally neglected in the proposed budget”.

“We strongly demand to remove the AIT at this difficult juncture in this sector. We are ready to pay AIT after making profit but it shouldn’t be a logical decision to impose the AIT when the company’s production capacity is only 30 percent under the COVID-19 emergency”, he added.

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