The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has expressed its concern as smuggling of gold into the country is continuing unabated.
The NBR also decided to ease the process for gold import from the next fiscal to promote the trade of the precious metal within the legal framework.
“There is a gold policy in our country. But there is no impact of the policy in checking gold smuggling. Putting an end to gold smuggling is still challenging,” NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem told a meeting on Saturday.
The senior secretary made the remarks while addressing a meeting marking the thirteenth draw of the value-added tax (VAT) receipts generated through electronic fiscal devices.
The NBR Chairman said gold is not only being smuggled to dodge tax but also for usage as a medium of transactions.
The Ministry of Commerce issued a notification in June last year, allowing the local jewellers for the first time to import raw gold and refine it. Jewellers can sell products - jewellery, bars and coins made of refined gold both in the local and overseas markets.
“The government has allowed gold import legally. But gold smuggling continues. The situation has to improve,” the NBR chairman said.
“Gold is being smuggled as a common reality across the world.”
The government approved the first-ever gold policy for the country aiming to make import and export of the precious metal easy, stop its smuggling, and ensure transparency in its trade in October 2018.
Bangladesh Jeweller's Association (BAJUS) recently demanded to set up a specialised gold bank and a gold exchange in the country to help flourish the industry through monetising physical gold lying with people.
The local demand for new gold is 18-36 tonnes a year. The maximum portion of the demand is not met by legally-imported gold. The world market for gold was equivalent to $229.3 billion in 2019 - the market is expected to reach $291.7 billion in 2025.
At the meeting, NBR Chairman said there is dissatisfaction over the EFD devices.
“The businesses have to fix the price of the products including VAT. The collection of VAT separately discourages the customers,” he said.
NBR started EFD machine installation in August 2020 at shops in Dhaka and Chittagong. Some 3,591 EFD devices have been installed till December last year.
Venus Jewelers proprietor Ganga Charan Malakar was honoured as 'Responsible VAT Collector' for professionalism in VAT collection through EFD.
BDST: 1840 HRS, FEB 06, 2022