Ceramic manufacturers urged the government to relax the supplementary duty in the local sector.
They also called for increasing tariff on the import to save local industry.
Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA) made the calls at a post-budget press conference in Dhaka on Thursday.
BCMEA demanded withdrawal of supplementary duty on the production and supply of local tiles and sanitary products.
BCMEA president Sirajul Islam Mollah and general secretary Irfan Uddin placed the demands at the press conference at Jatiya Press Club. Mollah said the reduction in tariff on imported tiles products will create an unequal competition between local and foreign products.
He said 15 percent supplementary duty on local products has been proposed at production stage and 15 percent VAT on sale.
He expressed fears that the local industry may lose investment if the present tax structure will be implemented.
Mollah said the sector will be turned into a sick industry, resulting in unemployment.
He argued, “It is important to increase duty on foreign-made tiles for safeguarding the Bangladesh-made ceramics sector.”
BCMEA general secretary Irfan Uddin said domestic tiles and sanitary products are no longer considered as luxury items in Bangladesh.
“If the supplementary duty, imposed on domestic ceramic products, is completely withdrawn, the price will go down and use of local ceramic items, actually essential for maintaining hygiene, will increase consequently,” he said.
BCMEA vice president Moynul Islam, directors Rasheed Mymunul Islam, Azizul Hakim Sumon and Ruslan Nasir, among others, were also present.
The trade body also urged the government to reduce import duties on mineral industry’s raw materials for ceramic products as most of the ingredients for producing ceramic and tiles are not available in Bangladesh.
About 70 percent of the primary raw materials used in the ceramic sector are natural mineral soils and 80 percent of that are imported China clay and Ball clay.