Proposed Budget-FY21

Mobile use duty hike decision to be reviewed

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:35, Jun 27,2020


The government may revisit its decision of increasing supplementary duty on mobile uses following spark criticism from every sectors of society.

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 proposed to increase the SD on mobile talk time, internet and other services by 5 per cent to 15 per cent from previous 10 per cent.

The hike came into effect from June 11, the day of budget announcement.

Officials of the finance ministry said that the government might go back to previous tax and duty structure for mobile uses or it might reduce the additional 5 per cent to 2 per cent.

The National Board of Revenue is working on the issue but the decision would be finalised by the government high-ups, they said.

Consumers now pay a total of 33.25 per cent taxes, including 15 per cent SD, 15 per cent VAT and 1 per cent surcharge, to the government exchequer for mobile phone use.

It means that a consumer can avail only Tk 75.05, out of his or her Tk 100 recharge for the service.

The hike in SD was severely criticised by economist, telecom experts, traders, investors and other mass people as it would make the mobile services costlier.

They said that the service had already been heavily burdened with higher tax and the additional SD would create extra pressure on consumers as they are now become more dependent on the service particularly due to working from home and restriction on physical movement.

Education, entertainment and communication has now become dependent on mobile and internet service, they added.

Officials said that the government would go back to previous duty and tax structure or cut the increased rate when finance minister give the announcement on June 29 when the Finance Bill 2020 will be passed.

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