Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) on Thursdays expresses their disappointment as their demands, placed in the pre-budget discussion, have not been met in the proposed budget for the next fiscal (2018-19).
Being one of the highest contributors to the economy of the country, the industry urged the government to reconsider removal of 15 percent VAT on internet use.“But there has been no favourable change for the sector in the proposed budget,” said T I M Nurul Kabir, Secretary General of AMTOB in an instate reaction on Thursday.
The AMTOB also recommended for removal of Tk.100 tax on new and replacement SIM.
Expressing dissatisfaction AMTOB said that they wanted reduction of corporate tax for MNOs (Mobile Network Operators), 40 percent for listed and 45 percent for non-listed companies, in order to continue the uninterrupted growth of the mobile sector.
“It is unfortunate that we are in the same club with Tobacco industry when it comes to corporate tax rates,” said the secretary.
AMTOB secretary said that MNOs expected a positive move from the government as it is a significant enabler of the government's vision of Digital Bangladesh. The industry is one of the major drivers of the economy which contributed 6.2 percent to the Gross Domestic Product in last few years.
He added, "Mobile telecom sector is one the largest contributors to the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as the biggest source of government's revenue. The sustainability and growth of this sector are very important for the overall development of the country.”The industry, which is providing lowest call tariff in the world, is now burdened with heavy taxes. Mobile operators are paying about half of their total earnings. It would be very challenging for MNOs to provide quality service at the current rate if the government does not consider the MNO’s concerns. The high corporate tax will discourage prospective companies in mobile telecom sector of further foreign direct investment in this sector, said the statement.