In a bid to enhance the supply of edible oils in the domestic market, the government has moved to withdraw value-added tax (VAT) on imports of all kinds of refined cooking oils, officials said.
The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) recently requested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to take required measures for lifting the VAT on import of refined soybean oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, canola oil, and rapeseed oil, they added.
Also, the government has asked the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to directly import soybean oil and rapeseed oil on an emergency basis to increase supply of edible oil in the market.
The commerce ministry found consumption of rice bran oil as a healthy option compared to soybean oil thus moved to ban export of crude rice bran oil.
The Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) has been asked to find out ways to enhance production of rice bran oil and thus have discussion with its producers and related stakeholders.
Following the price hike of edible oil in the international market, the soybean oil is currently being sold between Tk 182 and Tk 200 per litre, putting an extra burden on the lower and fixed income group of people.
Commoners are forced to lower their cooking oil consumption due to its higher rate while the prices of other essential commodities are on rise.
The high price of edible oil is also still causing a supply shortage of the item in the market as millers and their dealers have allegedly created an artificial crisis.
Chairman of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) Brigadier General Ariful Hassan told the FE on Wednesday that he has already contacted some international suppliers to import refined soybean oil and canola oil as soon as possible.
"We are mainly working on importing refined soybean oil. Canola oil will be imported as a test case if prices are found suitable," he added.