The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has agreed to form a committee to review the 24-point demand of the apparel exporters including withdrawal of the board's order relating to export of readymade garments made of raw materials, the bonding duration of which has expired.
The decision came following a view-exchanging meeting of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) with NBR president Md Abdul Karim Thursday at the new office of the association in the city's Kawran Bazar area.
The demand also includes simplification of the procedures in disposing of the short shipment cases and ensuring the tax holiday facility for all garment products.
Other points of the demand include fixing the limit of wastage of accessories, quick disposal of a writ filed challenging an order requiring shipping agents and freight forwarders to obtain their licences, formation of a permanent committee comprising the members of the bond commissionerates of Dhaka and Chittagong, the BGMEA and the customs house, introduction of inter-bond facility, and exemption from submission of VAT-19 and VAT-11.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, the NBR chairman said, 'I have asked the department concerned to review the demand of BGMEA, forming a committee comprising the members of the NBR and the BGMEA.'
He, however, asked the officials concerned to submit a report within a week after formation of the committee.
Despite pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for waiving all exemption facilities including tax and VAT, he said, 'We are following our own policy just not to disturb the country's growing business sectors.'
About the revenue collection target of Tk 410.55 billion (41,055 crore), the NBR chairman said, "Creating a business-friendly environment we would achieve our target instead of creating any pressure on the business community.'
He, however, called upon the BGMEA members to ensure compliance with quality requirements of their products to compete in the world market.
ATM Sarwar Hossain, member (custom) of NBR, said the duration of bond may be increased by three to six months. He also said the recent bifurcating of the Chittagong customs will create a new dimension in trade and commerce pushing up the revenue collection.
He, however, ruled out the business community's allegation of what they termed abuse of power in connivance with shipping agents.
BGMEA president SM Fazlul Haque urged the government to accept their demands at the earliest in the greater interest of the country's RMG sector.
On the 24-point demand, he said, 'A number of hurdles remain to our progress and pose a threat to our industries.'
Moin Uddin Ahmed, first vice president of the BGMEA, in his welcome address urged the government to waive the renewal fee of Tk 3,000 required for bond licence.
Referring to the problems in the RMG sector, ASM Mahmud Chowdhury, director of the BGMEA, stressed the need for government's prompt initiatives to resolve them.
High officials of the NBR and about 50 BGMEA leaders also took part in the meeting.