Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the policy primarily aims at easing gold imports
The Cabinet has approved the Gold Policy 2018 draft to ease the process for importing gold and enhance the export of gold ornaments produced in the country.
The approval came at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, reports UNB.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the policy aims to ease the process of importing gold. He claims this will fulfil local commercial demand for gold and export demand for gold ornaments—as well as establish a specific gold import authority to ensure transparency and accountability for gold businesses and exporters.
Expanding the exports of gold ornaments by promoting and providing policy support in this regard is another goal of the policy, he added.
Shafiul noted that the volume of global ornaments exports was $638.37 billion in 2016, adding that 80% of global handmade ornaments are now produced in Bangladesh and India.
India exported jewellery worth $42.29 billion in 2014-15—while the ornament export volume of Bangladesh is negligible, he said.
"Our goldsmiths are going to India ... So, the policy has been formulated," Shafiul Alam said.
He said the import system of gold bars, through authorized dealers, will be introduced as per the policy. Bangladesh Bank will authorize the dealers to import gold under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1947.
Customs Bill draft receives final approval
The Cabinet also gave its final approval for the draft of Customs Bill—2018 giving the government the authority to formulate rules under the proposed law.
Shafiul said the bill was placed to make the Customs Act 1969 a time-befitting and modern law. "No major change was brought," he said.
As per the bill, the government will be able to formulate the rules under the law in consultation with the National Board of Revenue, said the Cabinet secretary.
It states that the government can formulate separate customs-related rules for the hi-tech parks and other specialized zones set up under the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority Act, Bangladesh Economic Zones Act 2010, and Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Act Authority 2010, he said.
The Cabinet also cleared the draft of National Environment Policy 2018—brining changes to the existing policy of 1992.
With nine new sectors added to the policy, it will now address the environment in 24 sectors.