Call rates and internet prices may rise next fiscal year

Sources at the NBR have indicated that the board is mulling to place the proposal for hiking the supplementary duty to 20% from 15%

Staff Correspondent

May 15 2024 1:27 PM

Call rates and internet prices may rise next fiscal year
Representational Image. Photo: Collected.

Mobile phone users could be facing higher expenses as the National Board of Revenue (NBR) considers increasing the supplementary duty on mobile phone calls and internet services in the upcoming budget.

Sources at the NBR have indicated that the board is mulling to place the proposal for hiking the supplementary duty to 20% from 15%.

In 2015, the government initially imposed a 3% supplementary duty on call rates and internet services. Subsequently, this rate was increased to 15% over three increments.

There are already existing VAT charges and surcharges on mobile phone calls and internet services.

Contacted, Mohammed Shahedul Alam, Robi's Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, has expressed concerns regarding the potential increase in the supplementary duty rate for various services within the mobile telecommunication sector.

He said, “Such an increase would negatively impact the usage of mobile internet services among customers.” Shahedul Alam mentioned that the number of mobile internet users has been declining over the past few quarters, and imposing higher taxes would exacerbate this downward trend.

He added that raising the tax rate overall would not effectively boost revenue as it would likely lead to reduced consumer spending.

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