EPB for legalising gold import

Suggests introducing an authorised dealer system

| Updated: October 18, 2017 09:15:23

Photo collected from internet has been used for representational purpose only. Photo collected from internet has been used for representational purpose only.

The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) wants to legalise gold/diamond import for its export as jewellery items by introducing an authorised dealer system, officials said.

It has recently submitted some recommendations to the ministry of commerce after reviewing and examining the existing rules and regulations.

Despite having immense potential, export of gold ornaments is negligible compared to other neighbouring countries due to various reasons, according to a jeweller.

The EPB suggested that the Bangladesh Bank (BB), commercial banks, authorised dealers, National Board of Revenue (NBR) and EPB fix the quantity of gold and precious stones imported for meeting the country's demand and exporting different ornaments.

The demand for gold in the country is met from reserve of the central bank. Duty-free gold import facility through authorised dealers should be ensured in consideration of exporters' and local demand, the EPB recommendations mentioned.

The hallmarking system for gold should be introduced to ensure the standards of jewellery.

Besides, the EPB should take necessary steps to identify potential jewellery exporters, according to the recommendations.

The authorised dealer system like as foreign currency buyers and suppliers could be introduced for importing and exporting gold, diamond and stones and meeting local demand, according to the EBP.

"Import of gold is now almost prohibited in the country. People especially women have been using gold ornaments," EPB Vice-Chairman Bijoy Bhattacharjee told the FE on Monday.

There is no standard of gold ornaments. It will be possible for jewellers to export ornaments if they ensure international standards, he said.

"We will import gold through legal channel which will be exported after various types of ornaments are made maintaining its quality. We will be able to earn a huge amount of foreign currency. Besides, it will help check smuggling of gold significantly," he mentioned.

"We can import gold or other precious metals through formal channel. We have put forward a bunch of recommendations in this regard," the EPB vice-chairman said.

The finance, commerce ministries and Bangladesh Bank are working to formulate necessary policy in this regard, he added.

Currently, Bangladesh is making ornaments through import of its raw materials or recycling. About 80 per cent of hand-made ornaments are made in Bangladesh and India.

Neighbouring India earned a total of US$ 42.29 billion by export of its ornaments in 2016. Bangladesh took initiative to export ornaments in the 80s. But it was not possible to export ornaments from the country, according to the EPB data.

There is no specific data on the country's demand for gold, precious metals and stones and their supply, a source in the state-owned entity said.

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