Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) expressed disappointments as 15% VAT on internet use and online transactions was not withdrawn in the proposed national budget for the FY2013-14.
BASIS president AKM Fahim Mashroor and other leaders spoke at a press conference yesterday after the budget was placed at the parliament. They urged finance minister AMA Muhith and National Board of Revenue to review the decision.
“In the ICT Policy-2009, there is a provision to allocate a fund of Tk7bn for the development of the ICT industry. Finance minister had allocated the fund which was never released,” said AKM Fahim Mashroor.
However, the organisation was satisfied at the cut of import duty for fibre optical cable to increase internet coverage.
In the proposed budget for FY2013-14, finance minister said, “To ensure smooth supply of quality optical fibre to the users at cheaper price, it is proposed to reduce its import duty from 12% to 5%. And that of its identified raw materials 106 to 0% as well from existing 25% and 12% customs duty.”
BASIS leaders thanked to the finance minister to increase the development budget for ICT ministry. The proposed amount is Tk5.3bn for next fiscal while it was Tk1.37bn in the current fiscal.
Concern was also expressed by the Association over a proposed lump allocation of Tk500m for a crash training programme in order to develop 10,000 IT professionals in next two years.