Bonded warehouse for all to boost exports: PRI

Special advantage of special warehouse (SBW), under which exporters can import raw materials without duties, could increase clothing exports of about 1.5 billion dollars a year, said yesterday the Policy Research Institute.

Transportation of non-apparel products earned $ 5-7 billion a year between 2012-13 and 2016-17, according to the think tank.

The country would have had more revenue if there was an effective TBE system.

"Tax exemptions granted through a special warehouse increase exports," said PRI President Zaidi Sattar, presenting a paper entitled "Modernizing the SBW Program to Ensure Competitiveness and export diversification ".

Attendees at the event held at the PRI office in Dhaka suggested to standardize the benefits of storage warehouses for clothing and other export items and to expedite service customs offices to facilitate exports.

The calls come as the importance of clothing in the export basket continues to soar. It accounted for 82% of the total export earnings of the previous year.

Diversification of export products continues to be a challenge, Sattar said.

The current statutory regulatory order extending the benefits of TBE to exporters who are not dressed is selective.

Up to 1,400 products were exported last year, with the exception of 3,500 companies.

"These companies also have a domestic market, and since they are not 100% export-oriented, they do not reap the benefits," said Sattar.

He said leaks and abuse are likely, but that should not be a deterrent.

"You should not punish 95% of exporters," said Sattar, while calling for the modernization and automation of the warehouse.

The chairman of the National Revenue Council, Nojibur Rahman, said that the government had already started a project to automate the management of the bonded storage system. "The automation process has begun," he added.

AFM Shahriar Molla, a member of the NBR for customs export duties and information technology, said the non-apparel sectors also benefited from the benefits associated with warehousing , according to the garment sector.

There is no legal impediment to a factory other than a garment being able to obtain a warehouse license, he said .

Of the 4,909 storage warehouse license holders, 2,062 come from sectors other than clothing.

Bangladesh will have to accelerate its exports to achieve higher economic growth, said AB Mirza Azizul Islam, former financial advisor to a caretaker government.

"And export diversification is needed for this, and we rely heavily on exports of particular products," he said, while calling for storage-warehouse benefits for all sectors to boost shipments.

There are about 750 SROs and most of them are designed to support the apparel sector and with limited consideration from other sectors, said Masrur Reaz, Senior Economist and Program Director Trade and Competitiveness of the World Bank Group. He recommended the promulgation of the new Customs Law and the review of licensing procedures.

Asif Ibrahim, former president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, suggested expanding the facilities available to the garment sectors to others to diversify the basket of goods. ;export.

Md Shafayer Alam Khan, Vice President of Bangladesh Dyed Yarn Exporters Association, said it took 53 days to renew licenses of some companies in the sector.

"No certificate of objection or renewal should be issued in a week," he added.

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