Import duties on newsprint in Bangladesh cut to 5% from 10% after newspaper industry persuades government high duties threatened print sector

LOS ANGELES , November 26, 2013 () – Bangladesh has reduced import duties on newsprint to 5% from 10% after the newspaper industry persuaded the government high duties threatened the country’s print sector, The Daily Star reported on Nov. 26.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a statutory regulatory order to reduce the newsprint import duties after the cabinet ruled on the decision in September. The order came into effect yesterday.

Originally, Finance Minister AMA Muhith intended to increase import duties on newsprint from 3% to 25% for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Because the move met strong resistance from the newspaper industry, the duties were placed at 10%. However, the industry still found this too high, and the rate was cut after the Eighth Wage Board was approved in September, under which newspapers will improve salaries and other benefits for journalists.

Newsprint is a vital part of the Bangladesh newspaper printing industry, which relies heavily on imports. Now, newspaper owners will pay a total of 26% in duties on a tonne of newsprint, compared with 31% before.

The primary source of this article is The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Nov. 26, 2013.

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