The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has extended its reduced tariff advantage for the import of raw sugar until May 15 so that consumers can purchase the sweetener at reasonable prices during the upcoming month of Ramadan.
Thus, refiners can import raw sugar by paying a regulatory duty of 20% instead of the previous 30%, according to a notification from the NBR published yesterday.
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The move comes after the previous concessional advantage for importing raw sugar with a statutory duty of 20% expired on February 28.
“We have extended the benefit of reduced regulatory duties to help keep sugar prices within the purchasing power of consumers in general,” an NBR official said.
In its notification, the tax administration informed that the benefit came into effect on March 1.
The NBR reduced the statutory duty on raw sugar on Oct. 14 and offered the privilege until Feb. 28 to curb soaring prices in the domestic market.
Consumers had to pay up to 80 taka for a kilogram of sugar from retailers in Dhaka city yesterday, according to market price data collected by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
On average, prices were 3.27% higher than the Tk 75-78 paid per kilogram a month ago.
Similarly, yesterday’s refined sugar prices in Dhaka were 17% higher year-on-year than Tk65-70 in 2021, according to TCB data.
Bangladesh imports 97% of the 18 lakh tonnes of sugar needed each year, as local production of cane and sugar in state-owned factories is very minimal.
Currently, importers have to pay Tk 3,000 as a flat rate to import each ton of raw sugar in addition to value added tax and 20% statutory duty.
In the case of refined sugar, the import duty is higher than raw sugar, according to the NBR.