Manufacturers of ceramic items have demanded withdrawal of supplementary duties on local tiles and sanitary products.
They also proposed lowering duty on imported raw materials to 5% from the existing 10-25%, which, the manufacturers say, is very high.
In a pre-budget discussion with the National Board of Revenue, the Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association placed their demand and proposal.
The country has 68 ceramic factories with investments of nearly Tk 9,000 crore and they meet 90% demand of the domestic market, said Shirajul Islam Mollah, president of the association.
The labour-intensive industry is dependent on imports for about 90% of its raw materials.
"Due to excessive duties on those, we struggle to compete with foreign products," Shirajul said.
He said ceramic goods were no longer luxury items. "With time, most of the people use tiles and sanitary products at home. Therefore, supplementary duties should be withdrawn." Many businessmen have been importing materials, making false declarations because of excessive duties, Shirajul added.
Vice-chairman Moynul Islam of Monno Ceramic demanded that the government give up to 35% depreciation benefits for the imported clay that loses moisture. The NBR now provides a maximum of 25% depreciation benefits.
He asked the NBR to bring the existing ceramic factories under tax holiday facility if new factories set up in the economic zones get it.
NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said, "The aim of the NBR is to protect the interests of the local industries and help them thrive."
The NBR always holds discussions with businessmen of all the sectors before a national budget so that it can make decisions based on their recommendations to the best interest of the industrial development of the country, he added.