Reduce tax to 10%, says Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association

Reduce tax to 10%, says Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association

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Importers of mobile phones in Bangladesh want tax reduced to 10 percent.Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association told a Sunday press conference that the tax should be ‘tolerable’ and not exceed ten percent.“We request that the tax — VAT and surcharge on mobile phones — be brought down to tolerable levels … like in neighbouring countries.“It should be reduced from 21.75 percent to anything between five to ten percent.”There are no alternatives to cell phones when it comes to expanding reach of the internet, they said.“It would be easier and faster to provide internet to the people through mobile phones if tax is kept at a tolerable level.”The association cited its own research and claimed tax hike on mobile phones lead to increase in illegal imports.Mobile phones worth US $175.3 million were imported between July and September in 2014, but it came down to US $107.3 million between October and December.It took a further dip this year, with mobile phones worth US $102.7 million imported between January and March.The government in its 2014-15 budget proposals increased tax on mobiles from 10 percent to 21.75 percent (5% duty + 15% VAT + 1% surcharge).“That will deter people from using smart phones or provoke them to illegal imports. That is not visible, but it will lead to massive loss in government revenue,” the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association said.

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