Friday, December 18, 2015, Poush 4, 1422 BS, Rabiul Awal 5, 1437 Hijri

Mobile phone calls to be costly from Jan 1
Staff Correspondent
Published :Friday, 18 December, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 50
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to impose 1 per cent surcharge on mobile phone services possibly with effect from 1st January.
In this connection, the NBR has finalised the draft of the rules on imposition and collection of surcharge which will be sent to law ministry in the next week for vetting, official sources said on Thursday. 
They said after completing all procedures including vetting the NBR will publish a gazette for collection of the surcharge.  Currently, mobile users pay 15 per cent VAT and 3 per cent supplementary duty on mobile services.
The mobile services like voice service, SMS and MMS service, internet and other services which are provided by the mobile operators through subscriber identification module (SIM) and Removable User Identity Module (UIM) cards may come under the surcharge.
The NBR first took the initiative to impose the surcharge in July, 2014 following an instruction of the Finance Ministry based on a recommendation by Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina that she made in her budget speech in parliament on June 28, 2014. But law ministry sent back a proposal of the NBR saying imposition of any surcharge on mobile uses required passing of a law.
Around 13 crore subscribers of the country spend around Tk 14,000 crore for getting services provided by the six mobile phone operators-Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink, Airtel, Citycell and state-owned Teletalk. Currently, the government collects surcharge from three different sectors such as tobacco products, environment polluting industries and imported mobile handsets which are imposed under the Finance Act.

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