Thirty-six textile mills, located in Narsingdi, imported 30,350 power looms in the last five years to make clothes under a one-percent concessionary duty benefit for capital machinery import.
The owners of the mills, however, neither set up the factories nor used the looms for production, according to sources at the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
Other than 16 percent of the power looms imported over that duration, the 36 mills sold the rest of the machines in the local market, depriving the state from getting its due revenues, the NBR source said.
In a sudden visit to these textile mills recently, officials of VAT Commissionerate, Dhaka (East) detected abuse of the duty benefit for importing capital machinery.
The NBR field office detected evasion of duty and VAT of nearly Tk 39 crore in the last five years by the 36 mills.
Tasmina Hossain, commissioner of VAT Commissionerate of Dhaka East, wrote to Chattogram Customs House yesterday asking it to increase vigilance during release of consignments imported by these firms.
The Daily Star has collected a copy of the letter.