Cloud service, e-learning platform, e-book publication, mobile app development service, IT freelancing among the services to come under the expansion
Tax exemption benefit for 22 Information and Technology-Enabled Services (ITES) has been proposed in the budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.
The tax exemption facility has been proposed to the providers of cloud service, system integration, e-learning platform, e-book publications, mobile application development service, and IT freelancing until 2024.
This will give impetus to the digital transformation process of Bangladesh, make modern digital services easily available to the citizens at a low cost, and also make a positive impact in materializing a digital Bangladesh, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said in his budget speech on Thursday.
The minister also proposed tax exemption, on certain conditions, for 10 years on production of some selective IT hardware if manufactured in Bangladesh.
In the proposed budget for the financial year 2021-22, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department has been allocated Tk1,721 crore.
This allocation is Tk306 crore more than the last financial year.
The minister proposed VAT exemption on local manufacturing of printer, toner cartridge, inkjet cartridge, parts of computer printers, computer, laptop, AIO, desktop, notebook, notepad, tab, keyboard, mouse, barcode/QR scanner, RAM, PCBA/motherboard, power bank, router, network switch, network device/hub, speaker, sound system, earphone, headphone, SSD/portable SSD, hard disk drive, pen drive, micro SD card, flash memory card, CCTV, monitor (not exceeding 22”), projector, printed circuit board, e-writing pad, USB cable, data cable, digital watch, loaded PCB.
Also Read- Budget FY22: SIM cards to become costlier
Kamal also proposed the inclusion of e-learning and e-book within the scope of ITES.
He said that high-speed internet connection has so far been established through optical fibre cable in a total of 18,434 government offices and 2,600 unions are established across the country.
Tier-3 Certified and Tier-4 Certified National Data Centers have been set up in the country, along with a Disaster Recovery Centre in Jessore.
The National Data Center (Tier-III) is providing mail domain, website and application hosting, co-location services, cloud services, etc.
The government has established the Bangladesh National Digital Architecture (BNDA) platform to ensure inter-portability among all government offices.
“As many as 254 Agricultural Information Centres have been set up in 89 places. So far, 7,469 digital centres have been set up in upazilas, unions, municipalities, and industrial areas. Steps have been taken to launch 5G in the country to implement the 4th Industrial Revolution effectively,” he added.
Application of digital system to tackle the impact of Covid-19
In the speech, the minister said that the government set up the Central Aid Management System (CAMS) to implement the direct cash transfer program through mobile banking services in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through this system, cash assistance has been provided to 3.5 million families.
Covid-19 vaccine management system
“Suraksha” app has been developed to manage vaccine registration by citizens and vaccine delivery activities.
In addition, the “Porichoy” service has been launched for personal identity verification using the National ID Card Database, which is playing an important role in ensuring that government relief and grants as part of the stimulus packages reach the targeted persons.
Also Read- Budget FY22: Telecom operators feel left out
Development of High-tech Parks
Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority is setting up 39 Hi-Tech Parks/Software Technology Parks in different parts of the country, out of which 7 are ready for investment. Janata Tower Software Technology Park, Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park, Jessore, and Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Incubation Center, Natore are now operational, the minister said.
At the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City, Kaliakair, space has been allotted to 48 local and foreign companies, and 5 companies have already started production.
To expand the e-commerce business in Bangladesh and generate more employment opportunities by creating new entrepreneurs in the e-commerce sector, a project titled “I will do e-commerce, build my own business” has been taken up by the Ministry of Commerce.
The objective of this project is to develop the skills of new entrepreneurs in e-commerce and create small and medium entrepreneurs in e-commerce in the rural economy of the country.
Under this initiative, e-commerce training will be provided to 5,000 new entrepreneurs.
Around 3,500 entrepreneurs have already been trained. In addition, steps have been taken under the Bangladesh Regional Connectivity Project to empower women, through which training is being imparted to women entrepreneurs on cut-flower, agro-processing, and ICT skills, Mustafa Kamal added.