‘Tax on mobile phone uses suicidal’
Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) today in a budget reaction termed the incremental supplementary duty on mobile phone uses as a "suicidal decision".
In an official statement AMTOB, the lone trade body of the country's all mobile operators, said, "We feel disheartened and completely heartbroken at this suicidal decision."
The incremental duty will be an extra burden for all the aspiring citizens of Digital Bangladesh, said AMTOB General Secretary SM Farhad.
"We are deeply saddened to note that the proposed national budget undermines the significant contribution made by the telecom industry in implementing the vision of Digital Bangladesh," he said.
It is widely recognised that the telecom sector in Bangladesh is saddled with the highest tax burden in the world, the AMTOB said adding, "The damaging impact of this tax burden has resulted in three operators out of the total four at the moment to languish in loss for year after year."
"We are in utter dismay to find that this unjust tax has been proposed to be raised to 2 percent of turnover from 0.75 percent," they said.
They said it is widely acknowledged that the country stands in the cusp of the complete implementation of the Digital Bangladesh vision thanks to the massive investment put in by the telecom operators.
Furthermore, raising of the SIM tax from Tk 100 to Tk 200 will double the burden on the industry in adding new connection, they added. "We sincerely hope that sanity will prevail and the government will reverse its proposal in favour of the industry."
The industry humbly like to remind us all that the fourth industrial revolution powered by 5G, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence etc will require massive investment and in order to deliver this dream to all the people of the country, the telecom industry's health needs to be ensured for the nation's interest, they added.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday while placing his maiden national budget proposed to increase the supplementary duty to 10 percent from 5 percent on all kinds of services using through mobile phone.
The National Board of Revenue soon after the budget proposal sent a regulatory order to the mobile carries to increase the supplementary duty from midnight yesterday.