Nearly 80 lakh handsets were assembled by mobile handset assembling companies in the country in the fiscal year of 2018-2019 as six entities started running their local manufacturing units thanks to tax incentives offered by the government to the sector.
So far, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has allowed eight entities to run the business and another two companies — Grameen Distribution and Banglatronics Technology — are waiting for the regulatory approval, according to BTRC data.
The companies which have already started manufacturing activities are: Walton Digi-Tech Industries, Fair Electronics, EDISON Industries, Carlcare Technology BD, Alamin and Brothers, Anira International, OK Mobile and Best Tycoon (BD) Enterprise.
With the production of nearly 80 lakh handsets, the assembling units of six entities jointly fulfilled with locally produced handsets around 25 per cent of the country’s total demand for 3 crore handsets.
The government with a view to encouraging foreign direct investment and protecting foreign currency worth around Tk 3,000 crore in every year introduced the budgetary incentives for the local manufacturing and assembling of handsets in the fiscal year of 2017-2018.
The budgetary incentives were carried forward to the fiscal years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.
It is expected that the incentives would be carried forward to several fiscal years so that the country can acquire skills in the field.
At present, imported handsets are subject to 32 per cent taxes while the tax rate was set at 17 per cent on locally assembled ones and 5 per cent on locally manufactured handsets.
This tax structure prompted seven parties to get licences from the BTRC for local assembling of devices.
BTRC officials said that the facility offered by the government had become very much business viable for the local as well as for the international brands to launch own manufacturing unit in the country.
They also expected that the country would be able to turn into a mobile handset exporting nation soon as the handset brands have already dived to grab the facility.
As per the BTRC data, Walton Digi-Tech Industries, the first company that secured regulatory approval in the year 2017, assembled the highest — 33.29 lakh mobile handsets of its brand — in its own manufacturing plant.
Of the Walton manufactured handsets, 28.48 lakh units were feature phones and the rest 4.8 lakh units were smartphones.
Carlcare Technology BD, which secured the BTRC’s approval for handset manufacturing on August last year, assembled 18.4 lakh handsets including 12.84 lakh feature phones and 5.56 lakh smartphones.
EDISON Industries, which got licence in August, 2018, assembled 7.4 lakh handsets including 1 lakh feature phones and 6.4 lakh smartphones.
Alamin and Brothers assembled 3.2 lakh feature phones and 13,050 smartphone, the BTRC data showed.
Fair Electronics assembled around 15 lakh handsets in last year and Anira International assembled 1.08 lakh handsets in the country.
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