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Budget FY19: Stunning 45% tax on chocolates

  • Published at 04:25 pm June 7th, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:13 am June 8th, 2018
File photo of chocolates Bigstock

The duty has been imposed to protect local producers, but could there be better alternatives?

The government is going to more than double the duty on imported chocolates to protect local producers.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the local food processing industry i.e. honey, chewing gum, sugar confectionery, chocolate, cocoa food, nuts, cereals, and oats, will see an increase of 25% customs duty on their bulk import, bringing the tariff to a stunning 45%.

So if a chocolate bar cost you Tk200 before, it will cost you Tk240 with the SD alone, and then there is VAT to consider. Really makes you hope local chocolate manufacturers step up their game, or just really put some effort into bringing back Mimi.

Stocking up on chocolates may not do any good. If cigarettes are any indicator, then shops are already slapping new price tags on products as you read this report. For the average person, chocolates have leaned further into the luxury side.

According to the budget, sugar confectionery (including white chocolates), not containing cocoa, put up for retail sales, and all finished chocolates will have 45% supplementary duty. In addition, chocolates with cocoa or other food preparations (packed over 2kg format in bulk form) and finished chocolates will also have see the same hike.

Chocolates had a 20% tax rate up until now. The most ambitious budget in the history of the nation has set an astounding target of Tk464,673 crore. The revenue goal has been set at Tk296,201 crore. In light of the economic aspirations, increased taxes were more or less anticipated. But such high taxes on chocolates, which are a proven cure for stress-related maladies, are already turning out to be a headache for those with a sweet tooth. In this election year, it seems chocolate is joining the luxuries club along with shaving gel.