Our country is well on its way towards achieving its digital dreams
Bangladesh has undergone remarkable growth in the last decade, not just in terms of the GDP, but also connectivity and infrastructure.
A lot of this can be chalked up to the sitting government’s commitment towards its Digital Bangladesh initiative, through which it seeks to reshape the nation’s connectivity.
With the proliferation of faster internet connections throughout the nation, whether through fibre optic or cellular, our country is well on its way towards achieving its digital dreams.
Having said that, Digital Bangladesh is supposed to be achieved by the year 2021, and with a large swathe of the nation still waiting to receive basic utilities such as electricity, the goal to digitalize the nation by the next two years becomes all the more difficult to envision.
Needless to say, time is short.
And with recently-announced changes to the national budget, with policies which would adversely impact the continued proliferation of digital services throughout the nation -- such as a 7.5% VAT on e-commerce, and, more worryingly, a regulatory duty on fibre optic -- the government is seemingly going against its own ambitions for a Digital Bangladesh.
We need policies which would help our nascent IT sector and the long-term goal of transforming our country into an IT powerhouse. To that end, the proposed budgetary policies miss the mark by a wide range.
The future is digital, and the government recognized that from the very beginning. And if they wish to fulfill their ambitions, they will need to keep the trajectory going upward through sensible policies and budgetary allocations.