The poultry sector – the major protein source for the people wants major fiscal policy support of the government in the upcoming budget to allow the industry to keep production cost stable and prices affordable to consumers. Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) President Moshiur Rahman while speaking to The Daily Observer on “What We Want In Fiscal Budget,” said the poultry farmers already sought tariff reduction on import of raw materials and tax holiday for the industry. He said BPICC had presented their demands to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and hoped the concerned authorities would reflect these issues in the new budget. The government has promised tax exemption on poultry feed industry at least two decades ago but the promise is yet to be fulfilled, he said. Prices of poultry birds and eggs did not significantly increase over the past compare to prices of beef, mutton and other source of protein. This credit must go to the poultry farmers, but this sector is not getting the required support, Rahman claimed. He said in the last 12 years prices of beef increased over 266 percent and mutton 325 percent while prices of chicken and eggs increased by a modest 50 percent and 78.6 percent respectively. ” But we remained neglected and overloaded with taxes and import duties on raw materials on feed meals, protein concentrate, lime stone, soya meal, rice bran, fish meal, wheat, corn, broiler feed and layer feed and such other raw materials. Rahman said price of fish meal has increased over 316 percent in just one year, rice bran by 115 percent, soya over 102 percent, egg layer feed by 98 percent. Such rise in cost of raw materials is not helpful to the industry. Poultry is source of protein to low income people and any rise in cost is impacting them, he said. He said Bangladesh poultry industry is now looking for expansion beyond domestic market. It is planning to enter global market in a decade and it needs all sorts of support. He said the government wants to increase per head consumption of egg from 90 to 104 units in 2021 and meat consumption to 7.5 kg from 6.5 kg now. It needs to increase egg and meat production by 234.82 crore 1.85 lakh tones annually. If the country is going for export, this production must rise to 1200 crore eggs and 8.0 lakh tones of chicken meat annually and only favorable fiscal support can help to attain the goal, he said. Rahman said prices of raw materials for poultry feed is rapidly increasing in international market. So the government must take initiative to reduce dependence on imports of raw materials and this can be achieved by encouraging production of raw materials and medicine locally. On tax and tariff issues, Rahman asked the government to withdraw 5 percent advance income tax on import of corn – widely used for preparation of poultry feed. The industry was enjoying tax relief on it up to 2015-16 fiscal budgets. Similarly, he demanded withdrawal of 5 percent regulatory duty on soybean cake oil imposed from last year. He has also demanded the new budget should withdraw 15 percent customs duty, 10 percent regulatory duty, 15 percent VAT, 5 percent advance income tax and 5 percent ATV on Casaba – another raw material of poultry feed. Rahman called for withdrawal of duty on cotton seed meals including 5 percent customs duty and 5 percent advance income tax. Similarly import duty and tax on palm carnel meal, fish oil and medicine used in poultry industry must be removed, he said. He also listed a host of VAT and tax on raw poultry raw materials saying these needs to be removed to reduce production cost and keep meat and eggs affordable to people. He said the new budget should address vital issues to give poultry industry the necessary impetus to grow.

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