The businesses of the Mongla Port have urged to the government to create a provision in the next fiscal year's (2017-18) budget, which will obligate import of some specific products through the port. They made the proposal at two separate meetings: one held at Bagerhat on Wednesday and another in the Mongla Port Authority (MPA) auditorium on Thursday. The National Board of Revenue, Mongla Customs House and Mongla Port Authority jointly organized the meetings titled, 'Revenue Dialogue'. At Wednesday's program Mongla Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association (MCCFAA) submitted a written proposal including the said demand to the NBR Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman.
Their proposal includes obligatory import of the products according to the chapters 82, 83, 84 and 94 of Bangladesh Customs Tariff first schedule. The chapters featuring products are: tools, implements, cutleries, spoons and forks of base metal, miscellaneous articles of base metal, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, furniture, bedding, mattresses, mattress supports, cushions and similar staffed furnishings, lamps and light fittings, illuminated signs, illuminated name-plates and the like and prefabricated buildings. MCCFAA President Sultan Hossain Khan addressing the Thursday's meeting in MPA auditorium said, "We have to import machinery, manufacturing goods, furniture and metal-based products through Chittagong Port, which is very much costly."
If the government issues a statutory regulatory order (SRO) to import these products through Mongla Port obligatory, the local businesses will be benefitted from this, he has said.
According to MCH data, the most imported product through the port is car around 60 percent of the whole products.
Sultan said it was possible as the government had issued an SRO to import car through the port. He blamed the entrepreneurs of Khulna region saying that they did not import capital machinery through the port highlighting the harassment by Customs officials.
He requested NBR to ease capital machinery import through the port. NBR Member (Customs Policy) Farid Uddin has said the importance of Mongla port will increase after implementation of Padma Bridge, Rampal Power Plant and other mega development projects.
"The government should import goods and project-related items through the Mongla port to keep the port alive."He suggested that there might be a provision for importing vehicles only through the Mongla port. Answering to the local businessmen's demand, Md Nojibur Rahman has said NBR will sit with other ministries concerned to make the port attractive to users.
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