Author: Paul Ploumis 06 Jun 2014 Last updated at 08:22:05 GMT
DHAKA (Scrap Monster): The unprecedented rise in gold imports into the country has forced the Bangladesh Finance Ministry to propose steep rise in gold import duty. The country’s Finance Minister has recommended hiking the gold import duties by 2,000%. Mr.AMA Muhith put forward the proposal while presenting the national budget for the current financial year.
Under the prevailing Passenger Baggage Rules, a passenger is allowed to bring up to 100 grams of gold ornaments by paying zero-duty. The passenger can bring another 200 grams (nearly 17 tola) of gold bullion or bar by paying duty of Tk 150 per tola. The Finance Minister has now proposed to hike this dutyby 2,0000% from Tk 150 to Tk 3,000 per tola.
The Minister also observed that the permitted gold bullion imports under Baggage Rule have surged during recent months. The latest statistics released by Customs authorities indicate that during the month of April this year, passengers have brought 660 kilograms of gold. This is almost 500% higher when compared with the gold brought during April 2013.
The current low gold import duty structure in existence has encouraged smugglers to import gold into Bangladesh and smuggle it out to neighboring India. According to National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh has become the transit point for smuggling gold to India. The consignments of gold flown into the country are then smuggled into India through borders.
According to Mr.Muhith, implementation of the new proposal may match the gold import duties in the country to those in India. This in turn will block the flow of smuggled gold from the country to India.