Mobile phone businesses have urged the government not to hike duty for the next two fiscal years to help flourish the country’s telecom sector.
They also demanded the withdrawal of the proposed 27 percent duty on smartphone imports.
Bangladesh Mobile Phone Business Association (BMBA) came up with the demands at a discussion at the National Press Club in the capital on Wednesday.
In the proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, the government raised the import duty from the existing 10 percent to 25 percent.
Also, 3 percent regulatory duty and 5 percent Advance Trade VAT have been imposed newly.
“The duty hike will decrease smartphone imports through legal channels in the next fiscal year, resulting in a revenue loss of Tk2,000 crore for the government,” said BMBA President Md Nizam Uddin Jitu.
The high duty will increase the smartphone smuggling from the neighbouring country, he added.
“We have already discussed the matter with the finance minister and high officials of the National Board of Revenue, highlighting the importance of smartphone,” Nizam also said.
BMBA leaders also said the imposition of additional tax will halt the government’s digital Bangladesh initiative as about 95 percent internet use is done through smartphones.
“Some renowned mobile brands may backtrack from opening their factories in Bangladesh, if the proposed duty comes into effect," BMBA General Secretary Habibur Rahman said.
For the development of the telecom sector, BMBA urged the government to consider their proposal.