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Tax may be curtailed on SIM

According to Telecommunications Minister the government is going to reduce taxes on new mobile connections this year. The end-customers ultimately have to bear the levy,

Current tax is Tk 800 on SIM (Subscribers Identification Module), it may be reduced in the upcoming budget as the minister disclosed in a press briefing at his ministry.

The minister said one out of the country’s six mobile phone operators could only afford the tax. “As a result, the industry passes on the tax onto the subscribers.”

For long, the mobile operators have been branding the SIM tax as barrier to reach the rural areas.

Telecommunications Minister also said they would sit with four mobile operators to reach a win-win situation about fees of 2G licence renewal and spectrum charges, which the industry players termed ‘excessive.’

The 2G licence of Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Citycell would expire this November and they have to pay a large amount of money to renew it.

The four operators together control over 92 percent of the country’s seven crore mobile subscribers base, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the industry regulator.

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