The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) on Tuesday called upon the government for revision of supplementary duty on mobile services in the proposed budget and reform of telecom tax policy.
The association came up with the call in an online briefing on the impact of proposed budget on the Mobile Telecom Sector. The speakers placed demands to reconsider some specific points for the sake of realising Digital Bangladesh.
AMTOB Secretary General Brig Gen SM Farhad (retd) along with the high officials of the mobile operators were present at the session including, Taimur Rahman, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Banglalink, Shahed Alam, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, Robi Axiata, Hossain Sadat, Head of Public and Regulatory Affairs, Grameenphone.
AMTOB President Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said its matter of sorrow that the telecom taxation has once again moved further away from the spirit of Digital Bangladesh vision in the proposed budget for 2020-21.
“When we are frantically trying to close the digital divide, we see SD being raised yet again taking access to mobile connectivity beyond the reach of people with limited purchasing power. This very much flies in the face of the glorious vision of Digital Bangladesh,” he added.
Amtob president also alleged that the proposed budget doesn’t even attempt to address the long standing issues with the investment climate engineered by the taxation regime.
Drawing attention to the economic contribution of the telecom sector, Mahtab said the industry currently contributes 7 percent of the GDP which could easily hit double digital figure provided we fully appreciate the impact this industry can have on the economy.
“We can always explore innovative ways to increase revenue contribution from this industry to the Government exchequer without burdening the customers, and our shareholders; we are happy to collaborate with the Government to strike that winning formula,” he added.
AMTOB pleaded the Government to reconsider the following points for the sake of realising Digital Bangladesh:
Additional SD on mobile services
Imposition of additional 5 percent SD on the mobile services will not only increase the cost of services for the customers but also will contradict the Digital vision of the Government to ensure affordable digital services for all.
50 percent payment before VAT appeal
The requirement to make 50 percent upfront payment even before telecom operators could file for appeal against the VAT claims potentially empowers the authority concerned to make claims arbitrarily. This creates the backdrop of miscarriage of justice that will only further tarnish the country’s image in the global market.
Minimum tax rate
Sector-specific taxes lacks sound rationale. While mobile connectivity provides demonstrable socio-economic benefits, the rate of minimum tax faced by mobile operators is double that of an industry with well-established adverse consequences.
At the same time, this type of taxation imposes an asymmetric burden on operators that are struggling to make a profit, thereby reducing competitive forces in the market, creating a barrier to business expansion and to attracting foreign investment.
Corporate Tax rate remains unchanged
The corporate income tax rate for listed mobile operators is 40% and for non-listed mobile operators 45% of their profit.
The latter is the highest level imposed in Bangladesh, at par with the rate for the tobacco industry, and significantly higher than the general corporate tax rate for non-publicly traded and publicly traded companies.
Moreover, in this budget, the Government reduce the tax rate of publicly non traded company but no change for the Mobile Operators.
During the ongoing Coronavirus situation a Smartphone can help you kill boredom through participating virtual games full of thrills and actions. However, it may not be feasible for the PUBG game lovers to buy an expensive gaming Smartphone during the economic depression throughout the country. So thanks to Realme for launching their C series Smartphone Realmi C3 presenting great features under affordable price range. Debuting in the Smartphone market of Bangladesh on May 17, Realme C3 has already become one of the most sought after budget gaming Smartphones in 2020. Let’s see what Realme C3 has to offer!
Unlike the usual gradient pattern mostly available in the contemporary Smartphones, Realme C3 comes with a textured back panel. This design is termed as ‘Sunrise Design’ by the company, as its rear ray patterns and reflections imitates the sunrise. The matte finished back not only offers a strong grip, but also saves the phone from getting fingerprints or smudges.
This smartphone will win your heart with its trendy looking tear-drop notch front design. The thin side-bezels make this phone more impressive. By virtue of 20:9 aspect ratios, Realme C3 appears with a tall and slender shape. You can comfortably hold and use this gear. Face recognition feature can quickly unlock this Smartphone regardless of lighting conditions.
Weighing 195g this Smartphone won’t feel too light due to its 5000mAh heavy battery. But the weight is quite manageable for one-hand use. Though built with plastic, Realme C3 is blessed with a sturdy construction.
You will find the power and volume buttons on the right and left sides, respectively. The top edge has no buttons; whereas the bottom edge holds 3.5mm headphone jack, USB charging port, microphone, and loudspeaker. The loudspeaker works well but it may sound a little distortion at the highest volume.
Like any other standard Smartphone, Realme C3 bears a tray for dual Nano-SIMs and a microSD card. The phone is currently available in two mind-blowing color options: Frozen Blue and Blazing Red. Choose the one which suits your personality most.
Realme C3 has a 6.5-inch LCD screen featuring 1,600 x 720 pixel resolution, 89.8 percent screen-to-body ratio and 20:9 aspect ratios. The screen is enriched with Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
Though its display may not offer a Pro experience, this Smartphone is really good for indulging your quarantine days with bulk of web series on your phone. Sunlight legibility feature makes the display work nice in outdoor ambience, all you need to do is adjust the level of brightness.
However, Realme C3 doesn’t come with a Widevine L1 certification, which would hinder you in playing the HD videos from Netflix. It is certainly a disappointment for many people!
Realme C3 is available in several variants: 32GB/2GB RAM, 32GB/3GB RAM, 64GB/4GB RAM, and 64GB/3GB RAM. In addition to this, you can enhance the external memory up to 256 GB through installing a MicroSD card. It would be better if you become selective while install apps and software instead of overloading the memory with unwanted software. If you can keep some space free, this device can offer quicker start up, as well as faster navigation performance.
Realme C3 outshines many flagship Smartphones in the race of gaming performance. As a gamer you might know that the processor is the main feature of any gaming smartphone. In simple words, the better chipset the faster gaming speed.
Realme C3’s MediaTek Helio G70 with Cortex A75 architecture can offer better performance than pricier smartphones like Galaxy A51 or Oppo F15. You can smoothly play PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty and similar games on this smartphone.
However, at high preset, the action moments may freeze for a second but you won’t experience any noticeable lag. Realme C3 offers excellent performance for the price unless you fill up the phone with bulks of apps and software.
Its 5,000mAh battery can keep the phone alive for up to two days on a single charge session, if used moderately. The provided 10-watt charger may take about 3 hours to get fully charged. However, it might dishearten those, who are looking for fast charger. The provided Micro-USB port works fine, but a Type-C port would have been great.
The Realme C3 is programmed with Realme UI based on Android 10 which would deliver a superior streamlined performance than its ancestors. What is more? This latest Realme Smartphone is packed with a bunch of handy features such as Dark mode, Focus mode, Game Space, Personal Information Protection, etc.
Realme C3 is provided with a dual camera set-up on the rear-side including 12MP primary shooter backed up with a 2MP depth sensor. In ample daylight, this smartphone locks focus quickly, meters light without much effort and takes good quality picture.
Realme C3 lacks a Macro mode so you won’t be able to focus on object from close distance. Its decent portrait mode supported by edge detection feature can take average-quality photos. However, the quality may not be so impressive.
Realme C3 comes with a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. The picture quality may turn to noisy and hazy in low light conditions. Lack of accuracy in color tone, detailing, and sharpness can be a deal breaker for the selfie lovers.
The Realme C3 (32 /3 GB) is available for BDT 10,990 in Bangladesh.
Realme C3 smartphone is a gift for gamers. The inclusion of MediaTek Helio G70 processor makes Realme C3 a great device for gaming. The camera features may disappoint you. But don’t forget that the budget smartphones tend to compromise a bit for image quality. It won’t be overwhelming to say that Realme C3 offers great features considering its price tag.
Leading mobile operators Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink say the increase of supplementary duty in the new proposed budget will be an additional burden to customers.
Therefore, they urged the authorities to reconsider the issue.
Hossain Satad, director and head of Public and Regulatory Affairs of GP, said the decision to increase supplementary duty will be a burden for the customers and unfavourable to unlocking possibilities of Digital Bangladesh.
“We urge the government to reconsider this decision before implementing in the attribution of our valued customer interest,” he added.
Meanwhile, another mobile operator Robi said it is very unfortunate that the 2 percent minimum tax on its revenue imposed in last year’s budget remained unchanged.
Shahed Alam, chief corporate and regulatory officer of Robi Axiata Limited, said there is still a chance to review the self-defeating tax and hoped the government will take positive decision in this regard.
Apart from these, increasing supplementary duty (SD) by 5 percent on all telecom related services is highly regrettable, he said, adding that the decision would bring further misery to the customers.
In an immediate budget reaction, Banglalink's CEO Erik Aas also came up with same remark. He said an additional 5 percent SD on telecom services will especially affect the less privileged consumers.
Erik Aas urged the government to withdraw the VAT on internet in view of the impact of coronavirus-induced economic crises on internet users.
He also requested the government to reconsider the minimum tax imposed on mobile operators.
Grameenphone has appointed Kazi Mahboob Hassan as the chief business officer of the mobile service provider.
The appointment will be effective from July 2, said a press release on Wednesday.
Kazi has been serving as Head of Strategic & Large Accounts since January 1 this year.
He started his career in GP as Chief Specialist-Strategy on February 1, 2016 and took the challenge of Head of Transformation as part of GPMT.
Later, he served as Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer from April 1, 2018 to December 31 last year.
Kazi immensely contributed to developing GP's strategy that helped the company taking the right direction and engage the workforce towards the line of sight. He has also been instrumental in leading transformation in the company.
Later, he decided to expand his career in the revenue-generating stream and took a new challenge in the Business Division, the release added.
Before joining Grameenphone in 2016, Kazi was a Senior Management Consultant at Deloitte UK, where he was responsible for leading business transformation programmes for clients across various sectors, including telecom, oil and gas, consumer business, and financial services.
Kazi has also held senior positions in Finance and Marketing with IBM UK and BAT Bangladesh.
He has a BBA from the University of Dhaka (IBA) and an MBA degree from the University of Oxford and was also a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) with professional accountancy body ACCA, UK.
Walton, a domestic electronics giant has recently offered 100 percent free air conditioner or 10 to 50 percent sure cashback on purchase of any model of its split ACs.
Customers can also get free installation under the digital campaign season-7 that will be available from June 8 to June 30, 2020, said a press release.
Walton declared the offer in a programme at Walton Corporate Office in the capital on Monday.
Walton’s Executive Directors SM Zahid Hasan, Humayun Kabir, Uday Hakim, Md Tanvir Rahman, Mohammad Rayhan and Dr Md Shakhawat Hossain, Deputy Executive Director Firoj Alam, Shahjada Salim and Shah Alam, Operative Director Khondker Shahriar Murshid, Deputy Operative Director Mofizur Rahman and Additional Director Milton Ahmed attended the programme.
Customers who will buy air conditioner from any Walton Plaza or distributor showroom or E-Plaza and register it with their mobile numbers, will be notified by a return SMS about the free AC or cashback.
Walton is conducting the ‘Digital Campaign’ to accelerate the initiative of building customer database for delivering online based swift and best after sales service.
Also read: Walton shares Tk 77cr profits with employees