BNP on Saturday alleged that the government, sidetracking the National Board of Revenue (NBR), has unilaterally reduced the customs fee to Tk 580 from Tk 1,000 for transit or transhipment of each tonne of Indian goods through Bangladesh.
Addressing a press briefing, the party urged the government to reconsider NBR proposals on the transit fess of Indian goods.
“The NBR at an inter-ministerial meeting on transit and transhipment on Wednesday proposed Tk 1,000 as customs fee for transit or transhipment of per tonne of Indian goods through Bangladesh. But, ignoring the NBR’s proposal, the fee was brought down to Tk 580,” said BNP spokesman Asaduzzaman Ripon.
He further said, “We think, the government has unilaterally lowered the customs fee, and Tk 580 is very inadequate amount as fee. This decision is not acceptable to us as it was not made protecting the country’s interest. It must be reviewed.”
Ripon said most people in Bangladesh wants the ties and economic cooperation between Bangladesh and India to be strengthened. “But we’re observing with regret that the advisers, ministers and officials engaged in negotiating the fess with India are failing to perform and exercise their expertise. They’re showing a subservient attitude.”
He said their party thinks India neither tries to deprive Bangladesh nor put any pressure to reduce the transit fees. “The government on its own lessen the fess to woo India as its ethical condition is very weak.”
Mentioning that BNP is not against transit and transhipment, Ripon said their party only wants the country to get justified customs fess for transporting of Indian goods through Bangladesh territory.
The BNP spokesman said India will be greatly benefited by enjoying the transit and transhipment facilities as it will reduce its distance and costs to send goods to its northeastern states through Bangladesh. “Bangladesh surely deserves a fair share of India’s economic benefit for the transit facility.”
Ripon urged the government to play a strong role in realising a justified transit fees from India.