'All preparations in this regard have been completed'
Telecom carrier Robi Axiata has said the government’s move to increase supplementary duty by 5% points on all telecom-related services is “highly regrettable”.
Telecom carriers will implement the new SD rate from midnight on Thursday, Robi said citing an SRO issued by the National Board of Revenue.
“All preparations in this regard have been completed,” Robi said in a statement on Thursday.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal raised the supplementary duty to 15% from 10% on services provided through mobile phone SIM/RIM cards.
“We need to remember that even before this proposed budget, 53 out of every 100 takas spent by the customers were going to the government exchequer in different forms of taxation,” Shahed Alam, the chief corporate and regulatory officer at Robi Axiata, said.
The additional SD on the already ultra-heavily taxed telecom sector will only bring further misery for the customers, he said.
“A large part of the population had become reliant on digital communication during the ongoing pandemic to remain connected, the raising of SD will certainly cause an adverse impact on this trend.”
“It is very unfortunate to see that the 2% minimum tax on our revenue imposed in last year’s budget has remained unchanged this year,” Robi said.
“Considering mobile network operator’s contribution in fighting the current Covid-19 pandemic situation and building the digital ecosystem, we believe there is still an opportunity to review this self-defeating tax and hope that the government will take a positive decision in this regard.”