Bangladesh Mobile Phone Consumers Association has protested the increase in the cost of telecom services and urged the government to immediately cancel the additional 5 percent supplementary duty proposed in the budget for 2019-20 fiscal year.
“Otherwise, we will move to the High Court to get the issue resolved and even go for a tougher movement,” warned the BMPCA.
“We protest the increase in the supplementary duty [on mobile phone use] as it is contradictory to the government’s policy on making Bangladesh a digital country,” said Mohiuddin Ahmed, president of BMPCA, at a press briefing on Monday.
The proposed budget for 2019-20 fiscal year doubled the existing 5 percent supplementary duty on mobile phone use.
In addition, mobile phone users currently pay 15 percent VAT and 1 percent surcharge.
According to the new proposal, subscribers will have to pay 27.77 percent in taxes.
As a result, if a user recharges their account with Tk100, they can avail services worth Tk78.27.
Besides, VAT on purchasing SIM cards has also been doubled from Tk100.
“This will, for sure, make dents in the pockets of the general consumers,” Mohiuddin said, reading from a statement.
“Earlier, the High Court banned increasing mobile phone call rates in respect to our writ petition dated December 13 last year. The government should respect the High Court order by cancelling the additional cost,” he added.
At the press briefing, Abu Naser Khan, chairman of Poribesh Bachao Andolon, Junayed Saki, coordinator of Gonosonghoti Andolon, Ruhin Hossain Prince, CPB Central Committee member, and Advocate Abu Bakkor Sidique, secretary of BMPCA, were also present at the event, among others.