State minister for posts and telecommunications Tarana Halim on Tuesday informed parliament that revenue collection from the telecom sector had gradually been decreasing for last five years.
Tarana in her scripted answer to a query from ruling Awami League lawmaker Sukumar Ranjan Ghosh said that the government earned revenue of Tk 4,235 crore from the telecom sector in the financial year of 2011-12, while the earnings dropped to Tk 855 crore in this fiscal year (up to June 10, 2017).
Of the total revenue collected in the outgoing fiscal year (2016-17), Grameenphone Bangladesh Limited paid Tk 430.99 crore to the government, Robi Axiata Limited provided Tk 221.70 crore, Bangla Link Digital Communications Limited Tk 161.36 crore, Airtel Bangladesh Limited provided Tk 14.86 crore, Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited Tk 11.04 crore and state-run Teletalk Bangladesh Limited paid Tk 15.06 crore.
Tarana said that from the telecom sector the government earned revenue of Tk 3,537 crore in FY 2012-13, Tk 1,465 crore in FY 2014-15 and Tk 1,137 crore in FY 2015-16.
She, however, did not mention the reason for the fall in the revenue earnings from the telecom sector but sector insiders said that the revenue fell as the government in 2014 slashed SIM tax.
Tarana while replying to a question from AL MP Dilara Begum said that there were 13.31 crore mobile phone users in the country.
‘The current call rate is one of the lowest in the globe and, if needed, call rate can be re-set,’ she added.
Replying to an AL MP Israfil Alam’s question, the state minister said that the revenue collection of the postal services department had gradually been increasing.
The department earned Tk 325 crore till May of the current fiscal year, while the collection was Tk 301.18 crore in FY 2015-16, Tk 253.17 crore in FY 2014-15 and Tk 219.13 crore in FY 2013-14, she informed the House.
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