Speakers at a roundtable have called upon the authorities concerned to establish equality in the country’s digital marketing ecosystem.
The roundtable on Digital Marketing Payment Policy was held during the 15th edition of the BASIS SoftExpo 2019.
The three-day expo — with the slogan of “Technology for prosperity”— kicked off at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka on March 19.
Rezaul Hasan, a member of the VAT Policy Department of National Bureau of Revenue (NBR), was present as the chief guest of the roundtable.
Mohammad Risalat Siddique, chairman of BASIS Standing Committee on Digital Marketing, came up with a presentation emphasising Facebook and Google’s role in digital marketing and how these giant companies are doing business in Bangladesh.
Advertisements worth around $20 billion annually get posted in Facebook from Bangladesh, he revealed.
In the past two years, the country’s digital marketing range has increased significantly. However, some complexity remains in Tax, VAT and payments.
The negotiators at the roundtable discussed the solution to solve this problem.
In order to expand the digital marketing sector and bring transparency in VAT /Tax, a specific payment system with a planned guideline is needed, the negotiators said, adding that following that system, Google and Facebook will pay VAT/Tax so that the government's revenue earnings will be ensured.
Besides, the negotiators also demanded the government to abolish the non-resident tax imposed on the sector for digital marketing for five years so that everyone is encouraged to use this valid payment channel without using illegal payments.
If the system is used, all payments of digital marketing will be legal and the government will know how much money is going to Google and Facebook, and this will help the government to bring the giant companies to the countryside, as it has been in India, they said.
The speakers at the roundtable also demanded exemption of local ad networks from VAT and taxation so that local industries could compete with Google and Facebook and take possession of the market.
Encouraging local advertisers to advertise on the local platforms would bring an end to the existing monopoly and make a free market system work out, they said.
They also demanded building a proper market so that it reflects in the upcoming budget. Expansion of the local market in digital marketing sector would guarantee revenues to the government, they said.
“We are also thinking about such things, it is very good to see that our thoughts match,” said Rezaul Hasan in his speech as the chief guest.
He thanked the BASIS Standing Committee on Digital Marketing and said that when this payment system is introduced, many things will become transparent and VAT/Tax exemption will be easy.
He also said that he would give maximum support to the proposed policy to be implemented accordingly.
The programme was moderated by KAM Rashedul Mazid, co-chairman of BASIS Standing Committee on Digital Marketing.
BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir, Director-in-Charge of the standing committee Didarul Alam, Country Manager of Master Card Syed Mohammad Kamal, Chief Operating Officer of SSL Wireless Ashish Chakrabarty and Chief Executive Officer of Infotech Limited Sirajul Islam were also present at the programme.