Electrical manufacturers call for reduced import duty
Electrical manufacturers yesterday urged the government to reduce import duty on raw materials to 5 percent in fiscal 2012-13 from the proposed 25 percent, to support development of the industry.
Their argument being that the high import duty on white urea resin, the basic raw material for the industry, would erode their competitive edge against imported products.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua is in agreement with the manufacturers' demand, assuring them he would raise the issue with the finance minister.
He spoke at a seminar, “Electrical Industry: Its Problem, Solution and Prospect”, co-organised by Bangladesh Electrical Merchandise Manufacturers Association (BEMMA) and Engineering Products Business Promotion Council (EPBPC).
“Only through the growth of light industries can enough employment be generated to meet Vision 21,” said Barua.
The minister also brought attention to the detrimental act of underinvoicing finished imports, on the industry's growth prospects.
“High import duty on raw materials and underinvoicing on imported electrical products are jeopardising the sector's future,” said K Siddique-e-Rabbani, chairman of the Department of Biomedical Physics and Technology of Dhaka University.
“The local electrical industry is mostly comprised of small and me-dium factories but it serves 80 percent of the local demand,” he added, while pointing out the tendency of traders to import low-quality products to increase their margins.
Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, president of BEMMA, mentioned the sector's immense job creation potential.
“The government needs to provide facilities to small and medium enterprises for steady growth of the industry,” he added.