Businesses in Chattogram are demanding the withdrawal of a 10% increase in the import duty on lifts and escalators.
The aim is to maintain stable prices and prevent local suppliers from suffering losses. They also called for lifts and escalators to be classified as ‘essential capital machinery’ and for the import duty to be reduced to its previous level of 15.75%.
The Bangladesh Elevators and Lift Importers Association (BEELIA) organized a protest in front of the Chattogram Press Club to voice these demands. Owners and staff from various elevator, escalator importing, and supplier firms participated in the human chain formed at 11:00 am.
The decision to increase import duty to safeguard the domestic elevator manufacturing sector may have unintended consequences.
According to industry representatives, this move could disrupt the market as most of the country’s demand is fulfilled through imports.
The Chattogram Elevator Business Forum’s general secretary emphasized that the duty hike from 15.75% to 25.75% will eventually lead to higher consumer prices. Consequently, industry leaders have appealed to the government to reduce the duty back to its previous level.
Industry leaders urged the government to restore the duty to its previous level to alleviate the potential economic strain on businesses and consumers.
The hike in import duty is part of the government’s strategy to promote local lift manufacturing. However, businesses argue that such a move would disrupt the market and impede their ability to meet the country’s high demand for lifts and escalators. They assert that maintaining stable prices and supporting import-oriented industries is crucial for the market’s overall stability.
The demand to lower the import duty and reclassify lifts and escalators as essential capital machinery reflects the concerns of businesses in Chattogram and their efforts to protect their interests in the face of potential market disruption.