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Cabinet okays 1% surcharge on cell phone earnings

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Staff Reporter
The Cabinet on Monday approved a proposal for imposing 1 (one) percent development surcharge on the total revenue earnings of mobile phone operators by providing services to consumers through using SIM or RUIM cards.
The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the government will get an additional amount of TK 140 crore in revenue every year with the implementation of the proposal.
While addressing parliament on June 29 this year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her intention to impose one percent development surcharge on mobile phone operators to use the fund for the development of education.
The Finance Minister also agreed on the issue saying the amount could be used for the development of education and health sectors.
According to a calculation of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), the Cabinet Secretary said a SIM or RUIM card user on average use TK 200 per month or if one percent surcharge is imposed to that calculation, the users of SIM and RIUM cards would have to pay additional TK two on average per month. But, ultimately, the mobile phone operators would pay the development surcharge to the government.
Before placing the proposal to the cabinet, the NBR consulted the stakeholders concerned about it.
He said though the amount is very insignificant in the perspective of a user but the total revenue income of TK 140 crore is a good amount for using the development of education and health sectors.
The Cabinet Secretary said the proposed development surcharge will be applicable from the date of government circular in this regard.
Ministers and state ministers and secretaries concerned were present.