Bangladesh budget retains some barriers to connectivity

Posted on July 2, 2009  /  1 Comments

Talk in the Bangladesh telecom sector has been focused on taxes these days because the government had proposed a 25% tax on handsets and the retention of the controversial TK 800 tax on SIMs. These are counterproductive taxes both in terms of improving government revenues and connecting people electronically; their combined effect is to make it a lot more expensive to get connected. It’s only people who are connected who generate usage-based taxes, they are counter-productive for the government and they absolutely go against plans for a Digital Bangladesh. At the end of all the efforts to change the government’s mind, all that happened is the reduction of the handset tax. Full report in the Daily Star.

The mobile industry partially got some relief. The minister reduced mobile set import tax to 12 percent from the proposed 25 percent.

However, the minister did not mention about SIM tax, which means Tk 800 tax on each new mobile connection would remain unchanged.

“The new budget seems to be fairly progressive, but we are disappointed to see that the SIM tax remains unchanged,” said Oddvar Hesjedal, chief executive officer of Grameenphone.

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