Bangladesh removes import tax exemption for COVID kits and masks

Earlier, the government removed all applicable duties and taxes on the import of coronavirus test kits, special types of masks and hand sanitizers, raw materials needed for the production of masks, PPE and of RT-PCR kits through a special notification to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said in his budget speech.

As the situation of the coronavirus pandemic has improved a lot, the government is now proposing to abolish the existing concessional facilities at the import stage, he said.

The minister, however, proposed to maintain the existing concessional facilities for the import of raw materials needed for the production of medicines and medical supplies.

The proposed budget also includes a reduction in the applicable tax on zinc-air batteries used in hearing aids and the removal of all existing tariffs on the importation of specialized wheelchairs for the disabled.

In order to make quality health services available at a lower cost to every citizen of Bangladesh, the revenues of a general hospital with a minimum capacity of 250 beds or a specialist hospital with a minimum capacity of 200 beds have been tax exempt for ten years provided it is established outside Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Chattogram districts.

The total allocation for the Health Services Division stands at 292 billion taka in the 2022-23 budget, while the figure was 261 billion taka in the revised 2021-22 budget.

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