Following the recent budget proposal to impose a 15 per cent supplementary duty on mobile bills, customers are being charged extra for mobile services since the night of June 11. The government has been taking the initiative to reduce the cost of mobile phone bills as there is strong criticism at the consumer level.
Before the budget for fiscal year 2020-21, mobile phone users had to pay 15 percent value-added tax (VAT), 10 percent supplementary duty and one percent surcharge on their phone call, internet and others usage bills.
However, supplementary duty is set to increase to 15 percent from the existing 10 percent in the proposed budget. With the new tax ratio, customers will have to pay 33.25 percent tax to the government for mobile phone use. So, users would have to recharge Tk 133.25 for availing a service worth Tk 100 or a user will get services worth Tk 75.05 against each Tk 100 recharge.
People reacted widely on social media over the issue. It was also protested from the various sector and demanded not to increase the cost of mobile phone bills.
Later, Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem, chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), said that the current rate of mobile call rates is so low that the unnecessary talking on the mobile phone has increased. As a result, many accidents have taken place while talking. However, we did not increase the supplementary duty to control over-talking. Rather the call rate is very low. So in this case, only 5 per cent duty has been increased.
The country’s top newspaper on Friday (June 26) reported that the government has been moving away from raising supplementary duty. In view of the decision of the top level of the government, the NBR has decided to keep the previous amount of the supplementary duty. It might be corrected on the day the money bill will be passed.