The National Board of Revenue in Bangladesh has reduced the tariff on import of parts of automated teller machines (ATMs) and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to facilitate the gadgets’ assembly in the hi-tech parks. The import duty on 24 items, including ATM parts, counting machines, pocket-sized data recorders, processors and controllers, has been slashed to 1 percent for firms that will make the machines in the hi-tech parks.
The duty on basic raw materials has been reduced to 1 percent considering the scope of higher value addition, while intermediate goods face 10 percent duty, said ABM Shafiqur Rahman, first secretary customs policy of the NBR. The 10 percent duty would be payable by ATM and CCTV camera makers in the hi-tech parks for import of 19 items, including MiCR cheque scanner, biometric scanner and cash deposit machine.
The move comes following a request from Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority (BHTPA) to cut the import duty on parts and other material of ATMs and CCTV cameras.
The BHTPA made the plea after a firm, Vibrant Software (BD), signed up to make the machines at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur to meet the growing domestic demand for digital financial services and security.
The firm, which is a joint venture among Vibrant Software of the UK, Union Group and Technomedia, plans to invest $25 million to establish an ATM, point-of-sale and CCTV camera making plant. “It is a milestone for digital finance and digital security in Bangladesh,” said Mohammed Marbin, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Vibrant Software, after the announcement of the duty privilege.
The plant, which is under construction, will initially assemble the products. Until October 2018, Bangladesh had 10,063 ATMs and 43,764 POS, with the number fast increasing, according to data from Bangladesh Bank. At present, $5,000 is needed for an ATM, according to Marbin. But the prices would come down upon domestic manufacturing.
“We have spoken with banks and came to know that they would roll out more ATMs if they get them at lower prices.” Apart from ATMs, nearly 10 lakh CCTVs are sold annually in Bangladesh. As CCTVs are not a lifelong product, the demand for this will remain in the days ahead, he said.
“Our aim is to build, assemble and make, look for local customers as well as to export to other countries. We will be able to create jobs and a skilled workforce if we can do import substitution,” he added. Md Mahfuzull Kabir, a Deputy Director of BHTPA, expected that more firms will join the queue to make ATMs and CCTV cameras after the duty benefit