The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has allowed former finance minister AMA Muhith to import a luxury car duty-free, a facility provided to serving members of parliament.
Muhith opened a letter of credit to import a land cruiser near the end of his tenure as a lawmaker in the 10th parliament.
The vehicle arrived at the Chattogram port after the dissolution of the 10th parliament and expiry of his parliament membership.
Officials of the NBR said the law allows a lawmaker to make a duty-free import of one car per parliament term.
Having been the finance minister for two consecutive terms till 2018, Muhith is not a member of the current 11th parliament and accordingly was not entitled to the benefit.
The NBR said it took into account overall circumstances to extend the benefit.
NBR Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said, “He (Muhith) did not avail the opportunity during the initial days of the last parliament. He completed all the formalities in the last days when he was an MP and the car has arrived late.”
As he would be unable to release the SUV duty-free without permission, the NBR has granted the benefit, he said.
“We have had such instances in the past. We gave similar benefit to clear another MP whose car arrived at the port after his death. Then we granted permission based on a request of the honourable Speaker,” said Bhuiyan.
He, however, could not immediately name the MP and the amount of duty waived for Muhith’s SUV.
Muhith could not be reached on his mobile phone despite repeated attempts.
The NBR, in its special order issued on August 19 regarding the import of the duty-free car by Muhith, said it received a recommendation from the Jatiya Sangsad secretariat through the Internal Resources Division.