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Dhaka Tribune

Telcos seek Muhith’s intervention in SIM replacement tax issue

Update : 23 Mar 2015, 06:12 PM

Leading four mobile phone operators of Bangladesh have sought finance minister’s intervention in resolving the SIM replacement tax claim dispute with the revenue authorities before the forthcoming spectrum auction.

“From any shareholders or investors’ perspective, removal of taxation uncertainties and certainty in fiscal incentives are fundamental to make further investment,” the operators said in a joint letter to Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday.

The letter was signed by Grameenphone CEO Rajeev Sethi, Banglalink CEO Ziad Shatara, Robi CEO Supun Weerasinghe and Airtel CEO Prasanta Das Sarma.

SIM replacement tax claim is a long-disputed issue of about Tk3,000 crore, which has remained unresolved in the past three years.

Earlier on March 1, the parent companies of the operatoes also sent a same type of letter to Finance Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, State Minister for ICT, Chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and Telecommunication Secretary.

“Although we are keen to participate in the forthcoming auction, recent development and uncertainties related to SIM replacement dispute has forced our shareholders to reconsider the investment decision,” the letter reads.

“Considering the developments (regarding the issue), its impact on our financials and resulting uncertainties, our shareholders have indicated their inability to support further investment in spectrum until resolution of this long pending dispute,” the letter notes. 

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