20/03/2008 (Reuters, India), Dhaka - Bangladesh has waived a 10 percent customs duty on refined soybean and palm oil to halt soaring prices in the country's retail market, customs officials said on Thursday.
"We have withdrawn the entire customs duty on imported refined edible oil to keep domestic prices stable," said customs official Mahbubul Haq.
Refined edible oil importers had to pay 10 percent customs duty and 15 percent value added tax (VAT). Now they will have to pay the VAT only, he said.
Earlier, only crude soybean and palm oil importers enjoyed exemption from the customs duty.
Retail edible oil prices have jumped over 37 percent to 110 taka ($1.60) a litre over the past six months.
Bangladesh is totally dependent on imports of crude and refined soybean and palm oil to meet domestic demand.
Bangladesh imports nearly 1 million tonnes of palm oil, 500,000 tonnes of soybean and 500,000 tonnes of rapeseed annually.