file imageAmid a week-long rise in prices, the government has reduced the duty on sugar imports. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Wednesday issued a notification halving the duty on import of refined and unrefined sugar. Although the traders increased the price of sugar by Tk 1 per kg in the wholesale market yesterday. Market analysts feel that the impact of the tariff reduction will take time to see through the market. However, traders are skeptical about whether the price of sugar will come down.
The price of sugar has increased by Tk 3-4 per kg in the capital market in a week. Earlier, the price of open sugar per kg was Tk 130-132. Yesterday it was sold at 134-135 taka. In the wholesale market, sugar was sold at Tk 128 per kg yesterday, compared to Tk 127 the previous day.
NBR reduced the import duty on raw sugar to Tk 1,500 yesterday. Earlier it was Rs 3 thousand. The import duty of refined sugar was Rs 6,000 per tonne. Yesterday it was increased to 3 thousand rupees. This duty will remain in force till March 31 next year.
According to NBR data, sugar importers currently have to pay a fixed duty of Tk 3,000 per ton of sugar in addition to 15 percent VAT, 30 percent regulatory and 2 percent advance income tax. It has been reduced to 1 thousand 500 taka. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the demand for sugar in the country is 2 million tons per year. Import of raw sugar is 22-24 lakh tonnes. Production in the country is only 1 percent of the demand.
Golam Rahman, president of Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB), expressed optimism that the impact of duty reduction will be felt in the market. He said to the daily newspaper, “We expect the price of sugar to decrease as much as the government has reduced the import duty on sugar.”
But Biswajit Saha, director of City Group, said that currently the duty is Rs 42-43 per kg of sugar. And the government has reduced only 1 taka 50 paisa. A high dollar and rising sugar prices in the international market will not affect the market.
Jahangir Alam, a wholesale sugar trader in Old Dhaka’s Moulvibazar, said that after the publication of the gazette to reduce the import duty of sugar, the market price has increased by Tk 1 per kg.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce (Import and Domestic Trade Division) asked if the price of sugar will be fixed again after reducing the duty. Ruhul Amin said, after reducing the duty, the decision will be taken after a meeting with the concerned people about how much price can be reduced.