Home Commodities NBR working to reduce duty on daily essentials: Chairman

NBR working to reduce duty on daily essentials: Chairman

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Speaking to The Business Standard, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary of the commerce ministry, said the ministry had written to the NBR last Monday to reduce the duty tax on edible oil, sugar and dates. 

Following a request from the Ministry of Commerce, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is working to reduce the duty on daily necessities, the board’s chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said today (25 January).

Speaking to reporters at a press conference marking International Customs Day at the NBR Bhaban in the capital’s Agargaon, he, however, did not mention which goods the duty-reduction request was made for.

Speaking to The Business Standard, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary of the commerce ministry, said the ministry had written to the NBR last Monday to reduce the duty tax on edible oil, sugar and dates. 

A letter was also sent two months ago with the same request.

The increasing costs of essentials have forced low-income consumers to trim their expenses for eggs, potatoes, fish, and chicken.

During her first address to the new cabinet on 15 January, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the need to control the prices of daily essentials, especially during the upcoming month of Ramadan.

“Adequate supply of those products that experience an increase in demand during the month of Ramadan has to be ensured,” Cabinet Secretary Md Mahbub Hossain told the media, quoting the premier.

The PM’s call came amid a sudden rise in food prices, including rice and beef. 

The millers hiked the prices of edible oil before the elections without the approval of the government. The price of various vegetables in the market has also increased.

Aside from regular drives to ensure price of essentials are kept affordable, the commerce and food ministries also agreed to fix benchmark prices across wholesale and retail levels for rice.

Earlier today, food minister also warned rice hoarders of severe punitive measures if they were found to be engaged in the illegal practice. 

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