National Board of Revenue (NBR) plans to reduce the tax on bringing gold and gold ornaments under baggage rules to legalize the import of the precious metal to curb smuggling.
Under the proposed plan, a passenger will get the scope to bring 234 grams of gold bars or bullions upon payment of Tk 2,000 for each 11.664 grams (one bhori or tola). Currently, an international passenger pays Tk 3,000 per bhori for bringing gold and gold ornaments up to 234 gram along with 100 gram without paying any taxes.
Meanwhile, NBR offered jewellers and gold traders last month the opportunity to legalise their undeclared stock of gold and other precious metals at a fixed rate until June 30 this year. Gold traders and goldsmiths will be able to legalise their undeclared and stocked gold by paying Tk 1,000 for each bhori of gold and gold ornaments. For cut and polished diamonds, the rate will be Tk 6,000 for each carat. In case of silver, jewellers will have to pay Tk 50 a bhori.
Income tax authorities would not ask any question on the acquired prices and the time of acquiring of the gold, gold ornaments, diamonds and silvers to be made legalised under the notification. Undeclared gold, diamond and silver would become illegal after June 30.
The tax authority granted the special privilege to gold traders and jewellers after the government framed gold policy in November last year to make import and export of the precious metal easy, stop smuggling and ensure transparency in its trade. The policy came in the face of demand from jewellers after Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate seized gold from Apan Jewellers for its failure to show valid documents for the precious metal.
Bangladesh’s annual demand for gold is between 20 and 40 tonnes and almost 80 percent of it is met with illegal imports as traders avoids importing the metal in legal channel due to complexities in the procedure.
The special tax benefit has been awarded to give traders and jewellers the opening to legalise their holdings of gold and other precious metals.
To encourage jewellers to disclose their stock of gold and other metals, the NBR will also hold a three-day gold fair in all divisional cities beginning from June 23.
The government expects to collect a handsome amount of tax from the sector through the initiative. NBR was expecting to receive at least Tk 400 crore from the move of legalising illegal gold and other precious metals.