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Traders demand reduction of tariffs on raw materials

The cost of production of rod has increased in the country due to increase in prices of raw materials in the international market. However, the country’s steel traders said that the selling price has not increased compared to that. They have demanded reduction of all kinds of duties and taxes on the import of raw materials to avoid losses.

Leaders of the Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association (BSMA) and the Bangladesh Association of Construction Industries (BASI), two organizations in the steel and construction sector, met with leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh Industries and Merchants Association (FBCCI) on Wednesday to maintain stability in the construction sector. They informed about these demands there. FBCCI President presided over the meeting. Jasim Uddin. The FBCCI said in a press release on Saturday.

During the meeting, President of Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association (BSMA) Manohar Hossain said that in the last two years, the price of raw material for making steel and transportation cost has increased. This increased the production cost of the rod but did not increase the selling price. He said that at present 79 per cent extra money is being spent to buy scrap of raw material for rod. The overall production cost has increased by 52 percent. In contrast, the selling price has increased by only 36 percent. As a result, in many cases, rods have to be sold at a loss. Each metric ton of rod is being sold at Rs 8,000, while in neighboring West Bengal the rod is being sold at Rs 8,000. In such a situation, he demanded reduction of all existing tariffs and taxes on import of scrap and sponge iron.

A small ship named MV Tsonga Cheetah has been anchored at the jetty of Chittagong port to take the export goods directly to the European country Italy. The ship was unloaded at the jetty directly from the port waters on Saturday afternoon. The ship is scheduled to leave for Italy next Monday with an export cargo container.

The ship brought some imported cargo containers and empty containers from two Italian ports. On the way back, the ship will carry 963 single export cargo containers. This will create a new history of direct shipping to Europe.

Port Secretary Omar Farooq told Prothom Alo that the ship landed at New Mooring Terminal Jetty at 1.15pm shortly after arriving in port waters. After that the shipment of imported goods and empty containers started unloading.

For so many days I had to travel from Chittagong to Singapore or Sri Lanka to Italy or Europe. This normally took 24-26 days. Now it is taking more than 30-35 days in some cases as it is too late to get booking on big ship in Singapore or Sri Lanka. Now with the introduction of direct shipping services, new alternative routes have been created.

The MV Tsonga Cheetah set sail from an Italian port on the morning of January 18 with 945 single empty containers and seven containers loaded with imported goods. As such, it took 19 days for the ship to reach Chittagong. Once the containers are unloaded at the jetty, the loading of export containers will start from tomorrow.