Vol. 4 Num 213 Wed. December 31, 2003  

Striking steel mill owners resent Saifur's remark

Striking owners of steel mills resented the remark of Finance Minister Saifur Rahman as he recently identified the steel and re-rolling industry as a major tax-dodger.

Bangladesh Steel Mill Owners Association in a statement yesterday termed the finance minister's observation "unfounded and one-sided", based on statements of VAT authorities.

The Association demanded clarity and transparency in VAT administration. Re-rolling millers supply their products at night because trucks are allowed to ply in Dhaka city only at night, it explained, denying any wrong practice in night time delivery of goods.

The steel mills have been on strike since December 23, while re-rolling mills suspended operation from December 27 to press home their 9-point demands.

Meanwhile, leaders of the industry Ali Hossain, Shafiuddin Ahmed and Sheikh Masadul Alam Masud visited Chittagong yesterday and held a rally there to drum up support for a grand rally planned at Muktangan in Dhaka on January 4.

A meeting will be held at Narayananj at 12 noon today.