The government has reduced import duty on diesel and rice to curb the rise in prices of essential commodities. Now diesel import duty is fixed at 22.75%, and rice import duty is fixed at 15.25%.
Due to the increase in fuel oil prices, the people of the country have been affected, especially low-income people. Also, these prices have affected the transport sector and manufacturing sectors of the country. According to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, diesel accounts for about 72% of Bangladesh’s total fuel consumption, most of which is spent on transportation and irrigation. Therefore, lowering the import tax on diesel will play an essential role in reducing the cost of transport, irrigation, and other diesel-dependent services in the country. However, even if diesel prices come down, it remains to be seen whether the prices of the services that have increased due to the increase in diesel prices will be adjusted to the import prices.
The National Board of Revenue has announced a reduction in import duty from 34% to 22.75% in a gazette notification. Although there is no announcement from the government about the new price of diesel yet, Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Mir Mohammad Aslam Uddin said that the ministry officials would sit together and announce the new price of diesel very soon.
Again, Vice-President of Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mill Owners Association Shahidur Rahman Patwari said, due to the reduction of rice import duty by about 10% to 15.25%, the price of rice per kg is likely to decrease up to Tk 3. Also, the price of rice produced in the country will also decrease at the same rate.
Consumer Association of Bangladesh president Golam Rahman said that since the government has reduced the tax on imports, BPC should reduce the price of diesel. Otherwise, the tax reduction will not have any positive effect on the consumer level.