Monday, 2 October, 2023

Mobile phone makers demand cuts in VAT, duties

  • Special Correspondent
  • 31 May, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Mobile phone makers demand cuts in VAT, duties
A smartphone showroom looks desolate in the absence of customers. People's interest in purchasing cell phones has waned due to the relentless burden of high living costs resulting from inflation. The photo was taken from a showroom in the capital’s Paltan area on Tuesday. — SUN PHOTO

Mobile phone manufacturers demanded reducing value-added tax (VAT) and customs duties to stop gray market dominance in the country.

Rezwanul Hoque, chief executive officer of the ISMARTU Technology BD Limited, made the demand on behalf of the manufacturers.

“We have a Tk 150 billion handset market. But the gray market captures the Tk 60 billion market thanks to discriminatory tax and VAT policy,” he said.

ISMARTU Technology BD Limited, a subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, holds 30 percent of Bangladesh's mobile phone market share.

Rezwanul Hoque said the gray market ran with zero tax, “whereas we paid 20 percent tax.”

“If the government will review the tax and customs policy in the upcoming budget, then the 14 local cell phone manufacturers will export handsets in the coming days,” he emphasised.

Rezwanul Hoque also demanded a 30 percent value addition on mobile manufacturing as the local manufacturers were yet to go for capacity building due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.