The National Board of Revenue will take steps with immediate effect if the government wants to impose a ban on import of chemicals by firms operating businesses from Old Dhaka.
Such companies should also be banned from opening letters of credit (LCs), NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said yesterday.
He spoke at an event organised at the NBR office to award top 10 VAT paying firms of Dhaka International Trade Fair 2018 that ended early this month.
“We will take steps if the industries ministry issues a directive barring LCs to be opened for chemical import against any address in the old town.”
This ban will discourage doing chemical business in Old Dhaka and compel them to relocate their business to somewhere else, he said.
His comments came almost a week after a devastating blaze at Chawkbazar in Old Dhaka claimed 69 lives and injured many, making it the second deadliest chemical-fuelled fire in the country after the 2010 Nimtoli tragedy.
“It is really very sad to see repeat of such incidents. To prevent this type of accident, it is necessary to relocate factories, chemical warehouses and stores from the older part of the city.”
Bangladesh's chemical import rose 17 percent year-on-year to Tk 17,548 crore in 2017-18, according to Bangladesh Bank data.
Textile and apparel industry, cosmetics and care sector, pharmaceuticals, leather, agro, pharmaceutical, paint and construction, appliance and foam industry are major consumers of chemicals.
At the event, Bhuiyan also stressed the need for properly depositing the value-added tax paid by the consumers to the state coffer to boost revenue collection.
He said the VAT Act 2012 would be implemented in July based on discussions with all stakeholders, including businesses.
Domestic revenue collection will increase if the law is implemented, he said.
At the event, the Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate, Dhaka (West) recognised Hatil Complex, Walton Hi-Tech Industries, Esquire Electronic Ltd, Rangs Electronic Ltd, Butterfly Marketing Ltd, RFL Electronics, Fair Electronics Ltd, Durable Plastic Ltd, Navana Furniture Ltd and Rangpur Metal Industries Ltd for payment of highest amount of VAT this year.
VAT receipts from the annual trade show jumped over 40 percent year-on-year to Tk 7.1 crore this year, according to NBR data.