FE REPORT |
February 07, 2022 09:58:41
The country’s apex trade body on Sunday urged the government to remove discrimination in tariff rates on the import of fire safety equipment for the benefit of all industries.
Leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) made the call during the first meeting of the Standing Committee of the Supreme Trade Body on Fire, Disaster and Explosion Safety.
Addressing the event, they called on the government to allow other sectors to import fire safety equipment at reduced rates, a facility enjoyed by the country’s garment sector.
“Bangladesh’s image abroad is tarnished when fires also break out in other industries. Also, workers in all sectors have equal rights to safety and security,” the president said. of the committee, Md Niaz Ali Chisty, during the meeting.
He said it was important for factories in all sectors to have fire protection systems to ensure safe industrialization in the country.
“Except for the garment industry, other industries have to bear the heavy tax burden of importing much-needed equipment,” he said.
Therefore, there should be no such discrimination in the tariff rate on the import of fire safety equipment, he said.
Demanding equal benefits for all sectors like that enjoyed by ready-to-wear (RMG), he said that the total tax rate is 58.6% for imports of fire doors, cables of fire alarm and hose reels, 37% for shut-off valves, 26.2% for fire imports. pump and fire alarm system (detector), 11.05% for the extinguisher and 31% for the ABC dry powder.
He also observed that the requirement for separate permits for the import of carbon dioxide, foam, dry powder and other fire-resistant gases and chemicals has led to harassment and caused unnecessary delays for importers.
Noting that there is no BSTI lab in Chattogram, he said importers have to send chemicals to Dhaka for testing which takes an additional 8-10 days resulting in price spikes due rents in ports and containers during these days.
He also said that due to high tax rates, it is often not possible for small and medium contractors to take adequate fire protection measures.
Speaking as the chief guest of the meeting, FBCCI Vice President, Md Amin Helaly, said Bangladesh’s development has been largely informal.
He urged the standing committee to prepare an action plan to ensure fire safety in factories apart from the garment industry.
He also recommended starting sector training by preparing a training manual.
He urged importers to take the initiative to manufacture fire safety equipment locally.
Abu Motaleb, director in charge of the committee, said there could be various reasons behind the factory fire.
He informed that the standing committee will soon submit to the FBCCI a policy identifying the problems and an action plan to ensure fire safety in the factory.
A sub-committee was also formed at the meeting to formulate this policy.
During the meeting, Brigadier General (Ret’d) Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah, FBCCI Security Council Advisor, said that FBCCI had already approached the International Labor Organization (ILO) to start training in security in the country’s industry.
He said the government is also considering setting up a national one-stop-shop to provide all fire safety certificates and permits.
FBCCI Director Harun Or Rashid, Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Standing Committee Co-Chair Md Wahid Uddin, Mohammed Shahjahan, Abul Hossain, M Mahmudur Rashid, Zakir Uddin Ahmed, Mohammad Shamsul Haque Jamil, Mohammad Awlad Husain Rajib, Mohammad Monzur Alam, Tanjir Ahmed Tohin and other committee members were also present.