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Minister: Charging extra on mobile bill is unfair

  • Published at 07:30 pm June 18th, 2020
Representational photo Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The budget implementation rate is 93 to 97%, he said

Referring to the fact that the country’s mobile operators are taking extra charges before the budget is passed, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said the practice is unfair.

"If the operators have started charging extra money from subscribers’ accounts before the budget is passed, it is unfair. It is inappropriate and illegal for mobile companies to do so before June 30, the day when the budget will be cleared” he said.

The minister was exchanging views with the media prior to a meeting with the Executive Council of the Journalists Welfare Trust at the Information Ministry, reports UNB.

He termed the journalists of the country as “frontline fighters” against coronavirus and highlighted that many media houses have stopped paying salary to them while some even got fired.

“Considering these issues, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed to provide financial assistance from our ministry to the distressed and helpless journalists,” said the minister.

In a previous meeting with Journalist Welfare Trust, it was decided that a one-time grant of Tk 10,000 will be given to those journalists who have been laid off and have not been paid for a long time, he said.

“We will finalise the list of those who will receive aid in the first phase. This list has been finalised by the journalist leaders. Lists obtained through other organisations have also been taken into consideration as per the policy of the trust,” the minister added.

In the first phase, 1,500 journalists will receive the aid followed by more in the later phases. They will receive checks from the Journalist Welfare Trust.

The minister claimed that the budget implementation rate is 93 to 97% including the development budget.

“With the implementation of these budgets, the per capita income of the country has increased 3.5 times while the size of GDP has increased almost three times. Bangladesh has risen from low-income to a middle-income country. Poverty has come down from 41 to 20% - this is the reality,” he added.