The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has exempted optical fibre cable manufacturers from paying duties on import of four types of raw materials required for the industry in a bid to protect local producers from the competition with importers of finished product.
Local producers got exemption from import duties on all types of raw materials required for the industry as the government provided the waiver for other raw materials in the budget for the current fiscal year, NBR officials said.
The revenue board has recently issued a statutory regulatory order in this connection saying that only the optical fibre cables manufacturers registered with the value-added tax authorities at the NBR will enjoy the duty waiver for the four types of raw materials.
According to the SRO, local optical fibre cables manufacturers will be able to import raw materials like tube lessening jel, black poly ethylene, FRP rod and co-polymer coated steel tape without paying import duties.
Currently, importers have to pay duties ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent in importing these raw materials, officials of the NBR said.
Cost of optical fibre cables will decrease significantly and the reduction will make broadband internet connection cheaper for both the internet service providers and consumers because of the duty exemption, they said.
The NBR has taken the decision following a recommendation of a cabinet committee for withdrawal of import duties on raw materials for the industry in a bid to facilitate state-owned Bangladesh Cables Shilpa Limited.
In the context of reduction of duties on finished optical fibre cables, BCSL applied to the NBR, seeking withdrawal of import duties on raw materials so that it can provide cables at reasonable prices, officials said.
BCSL is now producing optical fibre cables along with other types of wires in its factory situated in Khulna.
Optical fibre cables are mainly used in the telecommunication sector.
Demand for optical fibre cables in the country has been gradually increasing due to rapid expansion of cell phone and internet services.
In January, 2011, BCSL set up an optical fibre cables manufacturing plant to meet the growing demand for the product in the country.
According to the official data of BCSL, the organisation will be able to meet around 45 per cent of the market demand for optical fibre cables in the country.
BCSL is planning to increase its production capacity to catch up maximum market share in line with the increasing demand for the cables, NBR officials said.
Courtesy: The New Age.