SRO confirming RMG tax cut issued

Containers of export goods stacked at port.— UNB file photo

Containers of export goods stacked at port.— UNB file photo

The government has slashed tax at source to 0.25 per cent from 0.60 per cent for exporting goods – measure that is aimed mainly at giving relief to garment exporters following recent wage hike for the workers.

A statutory regulatory order (SRO) has been issued to this end, by the Internal Resources Division. It is signed by its senior secretary and National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.

The new tax measure would come with retrospective effect, from 1 January.

From now on, exporters will have to pay Tk 0.25 instead of Tk 0.60 as tax at source for exporting goods worth Tk 100.

The rate specified in the SRO would be applicable to all export items, excluding jute goods.

On 5 September 2018, the government reduced the rate from 1 per cent to 0.60 per cent following demand from businessmen.

A senior NBR official, preferring not to be quoted, said the cut in the tax rate for exporters, especially the RMG manufacturers, came as they accepted the government’s proposal to increase the wages of their workers.

“Although we’re apprehending a significant fall in the revenue collection from this sector, we’ve reduced the rate as the garment owners demanded so to raise the wages. The government is always sincere about workers’ welfare,” the official said.

The official mentioned that the new rate will improve the compatibility of Bangladeshi products in the world market.

For fiscal year 2018-19, the government has set a revenue target — tax and non-tax revenue — at Tk 3.3928 trillion. Of the total amount, the NBR has been tasked to source Tk 2.9620 trillion.

Income tax and other direct taxes will contribute Tk 1.022 trillion while import and export tax Tk 325.89 billion, VAT Tk 1.1054 trillion, supplementary duty Tk 487.66 billion, excise duty Tk 20.91 billion while turnover tax would contribute Tk 110 million.

The government on Sunday announced a revised pay structure for the garment sector following directives from prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

The wages of garment workers under grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 out of total seven grades were adjusted freshly.

The minimum wage under the 6th grade has been increased to Tk 8,420 from Tk 8,405 which was Tk 5,678 in 2013 while that under the 5th grade to Tk 8,875 from Tk 8,855 which was Tk 6,042 in 2013.

A 4th grade worker will now get Tk 9,347 instead of Tk 9,245 as minimum wage against Tk 6,420 in 2013 while 3rd grade one will get Tk 9,845 instead of Tk 9,590 which was Tk 6,805 in 2013.

The minimum wage under the 2nd grade has been increased to Tk 15,416 from Tk 14,630 which was Tk 10,900 in 2013 while that under 1st grade to Tk 18,257 from Tk 17,510 which was Tk 13,000 in 2013.

On 26 November, the government published a gazette notification fixing Tk 8,000 as the minimum wage of garment workers.

Source: Prothom Alo.

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