Wednesday, 1 December, 2021

Commodity prices to come down in line with global market rate: Tipu Munshi

The commodity prices will not come down in Bangladesh as long as the rates are high in international market,  Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Wednesday.

“The ministry has recommended reduction of import taxes on edible oil, sugar, onion and pulses so that people can get a little bit relief,” he said replying to a question by a reporter during a press briefing at his Secretariat office.

“But the National Board of Revenue (NBR) reduced taxes on onion and sugar for maintaining balance as the government also needs revenue,” he said.

 The minister met the media after Charles Whitley, newly appointed EU Ambassador to Bangladesh, called on him.

Referring to the meeting he said Bangladesh will expedite diplomatic efforts with the European Union (EU) to keep duty-free apparel export to the EU uninterrupted.

"We will start talking with EU to obtain GSP Plus status after our graduation to a developing country from the least developed country (LDC)," he said.

The EU, in its proposed GSP Plus scheme, said any single garment item which will cross 6 per cent of the total value of any particular imported garment items will not enjoy the zero duty benefit and in this case normal 12 per cent duty will be imposed.

 The new 10-year-long GSP scheme will come into effect from January 2024 and continue up to the end of 2034.

"Since the EU is the largest export destination for Bangladesh, we will start talking with them for retaining our market facility," Munshi said while replying to queries from journalists.

 Bangladesh will graduate from the LDC to a developing country in 2024 and the EU will continue the duty privilege up to 2029.