Round Table on Policy Support for Local E-Commerce Industry-Demand to withdraw VAT on E-Commerce to protect the local entrepreneurs

Local entrepreneur-friendly policy needs to be made for the development of E-Commerce sector of Bangladesh. Moreover, the 4% VAT imposed in the proposed budget should be abolished for at least next 4 years. The players and personalities in the E-Commerce sector of the country discussed all these aspects in a roundtable titled ?Policy Support for Local E-Commerce Industry? at Daily Star Auditorium, Dhaka. The program was powered by IBPC, Master Card and The Daily Star. BASIS President Mr. Shameem Ahsan presided over the Round Table where Mr. Susanta Kumar Saha, Additional Secretary of ICT Division, Mr. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, Acting President of FBCCI and former president of BGMEA, Mr. M. A. Hakim, President of ISPAB, Mr. Syed Md. Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager of Master Card in Bangladesh, Mr. Saiful Islam, Former President of DCCI, Mr. Shahnur Wahid, Special Supplement Editor of The Daily Star, Former BASIS President, Mr. Habibullah N Karim, Mr. A Tauhid, Mr. Sarwar Alam, Vice President of BASIS M. Rashidul Hasan, Secretary General Mr. Uttam Kumar Paul, Executive Director Mr. Sami Ahmed were also present in the event. The keynote of the event was presented by the Convener of the BASIS E-Commerce Alliance Mr. Fahim Mashroor. He said that huge investment of the multinational companies are creating barrier for the local entrepreneurs. As a result, it has become a threat that the market might be in control of the foreign companies. In this regard, the local entrepreneurs need policy support. The newly proposed 4% VAT will only harm the local entrepreneurs. BASIS President Mr. Shameem Ahsan said that, BASIS E-Commerce is working relentlessly for the development of the promising E-Commerce sector. This platform is working for the legal assistance, mutual communication & networking and other related activities. He added that more than 10% foreign investment in E-Commerce sector is not allowed in many countries of the world. But, in our country, the foreign E-Commerce and telecom companies are taking over the whole market. In addition to that, if an extra VAT is imposed in this sector, the local entrepreneurs will be demotivated. Mr. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, acting President of FBCCI and Former President of BGMEA, mentioned that, E-Commerce is one of the potential sectors in the country. 4% VAT in this rapid growing sector will adversely affect the local entrepreneurs. So, we are expecting that this issue will be considered in the final budget. Besides, the representatives from Bangladesh Bank, NBR, Board of Investment, FBCCI, DCCI, BASIS, BCS, ISPAB and other related public & private organizations, Bank, print and Electronic media were also present in the program.

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