The country's mobile phone operators want waivers on SIM taxes and value-added taxes on their services to boost internet dispersion.
The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) placed their budget proposal at a pre-budget meet with the National Board of Revenue yesterday.
The SIM tax waiver is the most important, as it emerges as the biggest obstacle to mobile operators, said TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary general of AMTOB.
Currently, the operators pay Tk 300 for each SIM connection sold. If SIM taxes become zero by 2015, tele-density will increase to 85 percent from 72 percent at present, AMTOB predicts.
The government could see a 2 to 4 percent jump in economic growth if more people have access to mobile services and 3G internet, the AMTOB proposal said.
The country can reach its digitisation goal even before 2021 if data use increases, as the internet is going to be the key driver, Kabir said.
The gross domestic product will increase by 0.15 percent if only 10 percent of 2G or voice subscribers are shifted to data or 3G services, said AMTOB.
AMTOB also called for tax exemption on the import of internet modems and other equipment for the industry, along with a cut in corporate taxes applicable on the mobile service providers.