• Monday, Aug 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:16 am

Poultry lobby demands tax holiday to begin exporting

  • Published at 09:27 pm April 24th, 2019
Bangladesh poultry industry
USDA estimates at least one million entrepreneurs and eight million people are involved in Bangladesh’s poultry sector Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

They also urged the tax holiday for the sector’s expansion and large-scale employment generation

Poultry-entrepreneurs on Tuesday demanded exemption of all taxes on the products and raw materials related to the country’s poultry industry till FY2029-30, so that the sector could begin exporting.

They also urged the tax holiday for the sector’s expansion and large-scale employment generation.

Currently, poultry businesses have to pay 5% advance income tax, 5–10% regulatory duty, 5–15% customs duty, 15% value added tax (VAT) while importing vaccines, medicine, and raw materials to produce poultry feed.

Secretary of the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), Debashish Nag, placed the demand while presenting the poultry lobby's budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2019-20) before the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Debashish said the country is now self-sufficient in poultry meat and egg production. “Now we want to go for exports and have a plan to capture a share of the global market by 2030, for which we need the tax holiday,” he added.

He explained that many of Bangladesh's poultry companies had already received huge demand letters from Middle Eastern countries, African countries and from China. 

"However, we are lagging behind due to price competitiveness,” he said, adding that the tax exemptions could enable exports by reducing production costs.

Debashish said that although the government could earn little revenue from the sector, it would be more benefitted in terms of employment generation, ensuring food and nutrition, and growth of the rural economy through exempting taxes for the sector.

Speaking at the event, President of the Feed Industries Association Bangladesh, Ihtesham B Shahjahan, said that the government had promised to exempt the poultry feed industry of  taxes for 25 years after the industry had started its journey. 

“But it broke the promise and we have been paying taxes for the last 10 years,” he claimed, adding that they were paying advance income tax (AIT), but NBR did not  to pay back "the refunds".  

Shahjahan opined it was "high time the government relaxed the taxes on all products relating to the poultry industry", to begin exporting.

Urging NBR to incentivize the poultry sector like the agriculture sector, Secretary General of the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association (BPIA), Dr Munzur Murshid Khan, informed that NBR had been considering poultry as a separate sector from the agricultural one. "This is depriving us of many advantages."

Chairing the discussion, NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, assured the poultry businessmen of meeting their demands and said he would "try his best to boost the sector".