VAT, SD on new SIMs for MNP withdrawn

Special Correspondent

15 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The government has withdrawn the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Supplementary Duty (SD) on purchase of new SIM cards for switching over to different phone operators without changing the existing cell numbers under Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service.

To this effect, the Ministry of Finance has already issued a gazette notification on Sunday last, said officials in the ministry. 

As per the gazette notification, the total number of SIM cards converted under the MNP must be informed to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in first week of next month.  Besides, the total amount of VAT and SD which is withdrawn should also be informed to the commission.

The ported in and ported out consumer names, their numbers will also be submitted before the regulatory authority.  The BTRC may investigate the facilities given to customers by the operators at any time.

“The cell-phone operators will encourage switching into MNP. It will increase government revenue”, said Robi Head of Corporate and Rerulatory Affairs Shahed Alam.

On October, BTRC launched the much-awaited MNP service on a trial basis.

The MNP service price has been set at Tk158, including a service and SIM replacement charge. The service allows a subscriber to change their telecom carrier while retaining the same phone number.

Breaking down the price structure of the service, BTRC said it will take Tk 50 to switch operators, along with 15 percent VAT.

Licenses for the service were awarded to the Bangladesh-Slovenian consortium Infozillion Teletech BD Ltd in November 2017.