Finance minister AMA Muhith on Thursday said that the government would consider reducing the existing 15 per cent value added tax on internet in the next national budget.
‘Budget related discussion has already started this month and hopefully we can present a decision by June. We will consider the issue,’ he said while addressing the inaugural session of a four-day expo titled ‘BASIS Softexpo 2018’ at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services organised the show
with the slogan ‘Designing the Future’ with an aim to showcase the capability of local companies in IT and related service sector.
The finance minister said that for the greater interest of the nation, the government had set a target of revenue collection and all needed to contribute in this regard as the country has sufficient resources and the government’s assets had not substantially increased.
Muhith suggested the establishment of a free wi-fi zone for the common people especially for the youth.
Earlier, post, telecommunication and ICT division minister Mustafa Jabbar requested the finance minister to withdraw 15 per cent VAT on internet use and the tax applied for mobile sim replacement to 4G from 3G.
He said that freelancers were facing difficulties in collecting their payments as banks are deducting 10 to 30 per cent because of some notifications issued by the National Board of Revenue.
Demanding priority of local companies in government’s procurement, the ICT minister said the software industry was yet to achieve the trust of local buyers due to the fascination toward foreign products and services.
Mustafa demanded equal tax rebate facility for local software and other device manufacturers and exporters selling their products in the local market.
BASIS president Syed Almas Kabir demanded access to the equity and entrepreneurship fund for the IT sector entrepreneurs, while adding that access to finance was always a challenge in software industry.
He also stated the need for development of skilled manpower and suggested massive changes in education system based on market demands.
Organisers said the platform would promote local companies to initiate business ventures with foreign companies through business to business sessions.
A total of 200 national and international IT companies were showcasing their products and services in the expo at five zones, organisers said.
At least 30 seminars and tech sessions will be held in the four-day event.
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