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BNCA concerned over withdrawal of 5% supplementary duty on polythene

Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA), a platform of 33 environmental organisations, has expressed concern over the proposal of withdrawing the existing 5 per cent supplementary duty on all types of polythene bags, plastic bags and wrapping materials in the budget for FY 2022-23.

In a press statement, the BNCA said that if this proposal is implemented, the price of polythene bags will fall which will increase the use of this banned material in the country.

The statement signed by the alliance’s convener and also the chairman at Center for Atmospheric Pollution Studies (CAPS) issued on Tuesday (June 14).

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is his budget speech said, “I propose to withdraw existing 5 percent supplementary duty on all types of polythene bags, plastic bags (including oven plastic bags) and wrapping materials made of polyethylene.”

Opposing the proposal, the alliance of environmental organizations said that polythene is extremely harmful for the environment. The BNCA thinks that the proposal to withdraw the supplementary duty on polythene is self-contradictory as the government and various government agencies have been speaking out against the use of harmful polythene.

The environmental pollution is already in terrible situation in Bangladesh. Polythene is a non-decomposable product which brings negative impact on the environment.

Bangladesh became the first country in the world to ban thinner plastic bags through enactment of law in 2002. But this time the proposed budget is encouraging its use, opines BNCA.

The Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance made three-point demand over the issue. The demands include to reconsider the proposal to repeal the supplementary duty on polythene; implementation of the law which bans polythene and plastics harmful to the environment and to take appropriate steps to stop the use of polythene; and to bring all the industries which are harmful to the environment under duty and to encourage the environment friendly industries by giving incentives.