DHAKA Bangladesh will withdraw a 10 percent import duty on ingredients for poultry feed to help the country's poultry sector recover from losses caused by the outbreak of bird flu, tax officials said on Thursday.
"The authority has agreed to withdraw the existing 10 percent import duty on raw materials used for making poultry feeds," said an official at the National Board of Revenue.
The order would be issued soon, the official, who declined to be identified, said.
Over the past six months, nearly 60 percent of Bangladesh's 150,000 poultry firms have been shut down because of rising prices for chicks and feed and the outbreak of avian influenza, leaving around 1.5 million people out work, industry owners have said.
They said bird flu had caused losses of about 45 billion taka ($650 million) to the poultry sector, which accounts for 1.6 percent of gross domestic product.
The livestock ministry said the deadly H5N1 virus has affected 46 of country's 64 districts since it was first detected near Dhaka in March 2007.
Since then, nearly 1.19 million birds have been culled while around 4 million have died due to avian flu and other related diseases.
No human bird flu cases have been reported in Bangladesh, a densely populated nation where poultry is commonly kept by households.