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Dhaka Tribune

Govt turns down imports of 150cc+ motorbikes

Update : 29 Nov 2016, 07:23 PM
According to the police, safety concerns over riders’ reluctance to wear helmets, criminal attack carried out with motorbikes, and a potential increase in road accidents are the basis of the police objections presented to the government. Earlier on May 15, Bangladesh Motorcycle Assemblers and Manufacturers Association (BMAMA) President Motiur Rahman sent an application to the Ministry of Commerce to get permission to import motorbikes and spare parts up to 165cc. The BMAMA cited the shrinking motorbike market to raise the government's existing motorbike import policy from 150cc to 165cc to appeal to user demands. The letter also pointed out that the government has been losing a significant amount of revenue due to the import ban. According to National Board of Revenue data, motorbike imports have decreased from 249,464 units in 2009 to 186,808 in 2012. Importer sources state that import figures have fallen below 150,000 over the last three years. Deputy Secretary Nirod Chandra Mondol from the Ministry of Commerce sent a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs for their perspective on the importers’ demand. The Ministry of Home Affairs then asked the police department to express their views in this regard. On September 21, the police headquarters sent their objections against raising the limit to 165cc stating that importing motorcycle with higher configurations will lead to the aforementioned problems. Quoting SRO-411 from the Import Policy Order, the police headquarters said that importing motorbikes above 155cc and used for over 3 years are prohibited in Bangladesh. Additional Deputy Inspector General of police AKM Hafiz Akter also said: “The police department has been using 150cc motorbike for their operational purpose and so the common people should not use motorcycle of higher configuration as this might deteriorate the law enforcing situation.” Referring to users he added: “Permitting higher configuration motorbike would cause more accidents in Bangladesh as our riders, unlike other countries, are often reluctant to use helmets.” According to BMAMA, the country's motorcycle market is dominated by imported vehicles up to 86%, while the remaining 14% comes from local producers – Walton and Runner.
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