Traders want withdrawal of supplementary duty on raw materials

The country’s furniture sector has developed on the basis of imported wood. Several brands have also emerged in the last four decades. They are now making modern and international quality furniture to meet the demand of domestic market as well as exporting abroad.

Besides, there is a big market for non-brand furniture in the country. However, no brand or non-band organization has yet been able to overcome the two-year corona shock. Meanwhile, the country’s furniture sector is facing challenges due to the rise in the price of raw materials in the global market and the rise in the value of the dollar in the country.

In order to maintain its competitiveness in such a difficult situation, Bangladesh Furniture wants to repeal supplementary duty (SD) and regulatory duty (RD) on imports of 13 types of raw materials including screws, locks and cloths other than wood in the budget of FY 2022-23. Owners Association. Their argument is that the raw materials of the furniture industry are not produced in the country.

Therefore, the cost of production increases in the country due to the availability of SD and RD in the case of import of raw materials. As a result, the price of furniture goes up. As a result, the country’s furniture sector is lagging behind in the international market competition. On the one hand, the import of furniture increased, on the other hand, the furniture exporting companies faced fierce competition.

According to the Furniture Industry Owners Association, the country now has a market of Tk 7,000 crore. And 2.5 million people have been employed in this sector. As an import substitution industry, this sector is saving foreign exchange. But due to Corona, the sector is in dire straits. All in all, it has become difficult for the furniture sector to survive.

When asked, Selim H Rahman, chairman of the Furniture Industry Owners’ Association , told Prothom Alo that there are many small companies in the country’s furniture sector. Some companies are also making brand furniture. For that, very little furniture is imported from abroad.

However, domestic companies have to import raw materials to make products. The cost of production has risen sharply in recent times due to rising raw material prices and rising dollar prices in the world market. In this situation, if the duty on import of raw materials is not withdrawn, many small enterprises will close down. That could put many people’s jobs at risk.

The Furniture Exporters Association has sought bond facility for import of raw materials in the budget of the next financial year for the export of furniture. They say that due to high investment in furniture, the products have to be marketed partly in the domestic market and partly abroad.

As it is not 100% export oriented, bond facility is not available yet. That is why last year, in the partial export-oriented industry, it was proposed to provide bond facility against 100 per cent bank guarantee. There are similar arrangements in Vietnam.

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