The Bangladesh Mobile Phone Business Assosiation (BMBA) has requested the government to withdraw additional 15 percent import duty on smartphones in the proposed budget for 2019-2020 fiscal year.
In a post-budget press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday, the trade body said the proposed 25 percent import duty in the budget for fiscal 2019-20 would not only encourage illegal imports causing big revenue losses of government, but also impede the vision of Digital Bangladesh.“If new customs duty is applied, there will be a fear of not only Tk 6000 crore money laundering but also Tk 2000 crore revenue-income reduction per year. Whereas, there is a chance of increasing 1000 crore revenue income by retaining existing 10 percent custom duty,” BMBA President Md Nizam Uddin Jitu said.
By increasing the price of smartphone, general people will lose the ability to buy smartphone. At remote area, People won’t get the facility of using smartphone. People will be deprived from using Government authorised new technology (4G, LTE), he added.
At present the importers pay about 31.75 percent in taxes, and if the proposal for 25 percent is passed, they will have to pay 57.31 percent tax.
Currently, total number of smartphone user is 29 percent whereas in Asia & Pacific region, the average number is 51 percent.
In India, tax difference between CBU and SKD is 15 percent, whereas in Bangladesh the difference is higher than 40 percent.
Over 90 percent of the population of Bangladesh use smartphones. A huge number of services are associated with smartphones such as financial transactions, education, healthcare, E-commerce, Ride-sharing etc.