Covid-19 has hit the sector badly as the traders incurred losses of Tk300 crore so far
Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA) on Sunday sought Tk500 crore bailout package to rescue the Tk20,000 crore industry hit hard by the Covid-19 emergency.
It also appealed the government to waive taxes on release of vehicles from the ports.
In a virtual press conference, BARVIDA president Abdul Haque placed the proposals to the government.
“We realize the government is under pressure in generating revenue as it has to ensure treatment for a huge number of coronavirus infected people and at the same time struggles to save the lives of millions in the country by stimulating the economy. We want to cooperate the government by paying revenue during this crisis time,” said Abdul Haque.
For generating above Tk1,000 crore in tax-revenue in short time from the sector, the government needed to waive port rent fees for the month of April and May on release of 8,000 imported vehicles, which were now stuck at Chittagong and Mongla ports, said the business leader.
It was worth mentioning that two- thirds of the total price of a car was paid as duty and taxes to the government, he added.
He urged the government to allocate Tk500 crore for the BARVIDA members from the bailout packages of Bangladesh Bank.
BARVIDA would act as the guarantor of the proposed bailout package to be deposited in banks in favor of potential borrowers against the submission of related documents.
The BARVIDA leaders alleged that the members of the association had not received any financial supports from the government’s announced bailout packages of Tk 20,000 crore and Tk 30,000 crore.
The government had earlier waived the container port charges at Chittagong port due to coronavirus pandemic, but unfortunately the importers of the reconditioned cars could not enjoy the government facility, he lamented.
In addition, the BARVIDA requested the government, particularly the shipping ministry, for waiving the rent fees on release of the imported vehicles as the port was closed for two months.
Covid-19 has hit the business of the sector and it incurred losses of Tk300 crore so far. For instance, more than 4,000 units of cars are on display for sale in more than 200 different showrooms of the BARVIDA members in Dhaka and Chittagong metropolises.
Total investment in the sector stands at Tk 20,000 crore. The enlisted BARVIDA member companies pay more than Tk 3,000 crore in revenue to the government a year.
BARVIDA Secretary General Mohammed Shahidul Islam, Vice Presidents S M Anwar Sadat, Mohd. Saiful Islam Samrat and Md. Jasim Uddin Mintu and other executive members of the association also attended the virtual press conference.