Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida) has requested the government to allow them import Japanese reconditioned vehicles at up to 45% depreciated value, which was restricted to 35% a few years ago and led reconditioned cars to an uneven competition with brand new ones.
In a post-budget press conference on Wednesday, the association of reconditioned car businesses also requested the government to fully withdraw the supplementary duty on imports of widely used 10-15 seater microbuses.
The association, however, hailed the proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year saying it would assist economic recovery, growth and support local industries.
Addressing the press conference, Barvida Secretary General Mohammad Shahidul Islam said, "Barvida sincerely thanks the prime minister and the finance minister for restructuring and reducing the tariff on import of microbuses, hybrid cars and jeep (from 1801CC up to 2500CC)."
The association is happy as the government considered their proposals to make microbuses affordable so that they can replace unsafe local transports like Nosimon and Leguna.
However, as the finance minister mainly proposed to reduce supplementary duties for smaller microbuses with 7-9 seats and that tariff for widely used large microbuses is still higher, Barvida demanded a complete withdrawal of the supplementary duty – 60% for gasoline-run ones.
Reconditioned cars, which are catering to around 80% of the local market demand, have turned expensive in recent years as the government lowered the limit to charge depreciation on reconditioned cars' import value to 35% from 45%.
Barvida President Abdul Haque requested the government to make it 45% again as in many cases reconditioned cars are now costlier than their brand new counterparts.
"Annual sales of reconditioned cars have nearly halved over the last four years to below 12,000 and affordability is crucial to expand the market," said Haque.
Citing expert studies he said a much larger market is needed for a vibrant local car industry.
Barvida also welcomed the proposed 20-year tax holiday for local car plants which may attract investments in the car industry.
However, the largest and oldest association of Bangladesh's automobile sector reiterated its point regarding ensuring genuine efforts for car manufacturing instead of mere "screw-driving" for tariff benefits.