The Steel Building Manufacturers Association (SBMA) of Bangladesh is pressing the government to withdraw existing financial provisions on imports of steel building finished goods by overseas companies to help local manufacturing.
Mohammed Rashid Khan, the general secretary of the SBMA said the government supported duty-free provisions for finished steel product imports, which in turn, aided some exporters to Bangladesh, according to local media reports.
Commercial imports of steel presently entail a 5pc customs duty on steel goods, while domestic steel manufacturers pay a 25pc customs duty on importing raw material to make the same steel.
These circumstances could eventually hurt local steel producers, Khan said, but, they could find relief if the government agrees to withdraw duty-free import provisions for finished steel items and allows local steelmakers to import raw materials at no additional charges. The change would also enable local steel building producers to make steel finished products that are on par, quality and price-wise, with global competition.
The association also demanded reducing customs duties for raw materials imports used for constructing steel building products, since local steel companies can meet domestic steel demand. Khan said that raw materials for building prefabricated steel, faced substantial economic harm due to COVID-19 given that 95pc of industrial raw material imports come from China, according to reports.
Approximately 30 prefabricated businesses within SBMA’s steel building sector and around 200 plants outside of the group, will endure around BDT100bn ($1.2bn) in losses from December 2019 to date. Almost 200,000 workers are directly involved and 800,000 have been indirectly involved in this industry with around 100,000 employees concerned over job loss caused by the pandemic.
($1 = BDT84.73)