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Home » Industry News » Details
30 May 2012
Mobile phone operators urge govt to reduce SIM card tax


Mobile phone operators urged the government to reduce the SIM tax in a bid to reach telecommunication service to grassroots level as a large number people are deprived of the technological benefit.

As a result of high tax on each SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) card, it is very difficult for the operators to work for expanding network in rural segment as their revenue generation is meagre from end users, they added.

They hoped that the government will bring down the tax to a reasonable level from existing Tk 600 against each SIM card.

It may be mentioned that last year, the government has reduced SIM tax by Tk 200 out of Tk 800. As per telecom regulator's data, around 90 million people have been connected with mobile network till April, 2012.

Chief Communication Officer of Grameenphone, Kazi Monirul Kabir, told the FE that "the government revenue earning from the sector will not fall as an aftermath of SIM tax cut, rather it will boost tax revenue due to addition of new subscribers".

The operators raised the issue with the concerned departments of the government and hoped that the government will consider the matter for the betterment of the sector, especially for increasing rural connectivity.

According to the operators, SIM tax now is basically taxing the poorest segment of customers as the richer segment already has mobile phones and they are not taking new connections.

They opined that there is no justification to taxing this segment of the society as they live below subsistence level.

Marketing director of Banglalink Shihabuddin Ahmed said this may apparently improve short- term government revenue collection, but in the long run, mobile penetration will be seriously hampered.

They also pointed out that telecom sector experienced a positive trend last year with 31.70 million new subscribers following SIM tax reduction by Tk 200.


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