News From Telecom World

Govt loses Tk 11 cr revenue monthly as 4 lakh cellphone sets enter illegally

Posted on: November 5, 2008

The government is losing revenue of Taka 11 crore every month as about four lakh mobile phone sets enter into the country illegally during the period.The country’s monthly demand for mobile phone is about eight lakh. Of which, four lakh sets are imported in legally, but the rest four lakh come in illegal way. As a result, the government is being deprived revenue of nearly Taka 11 crore every month, NSM Faruque, President of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association (BMPIA), told BSS yesterday (4 Nov ‘08).

He said, authorized importers have to pay a total tax of Taka 400, including duty and advanced income tax, on every mobile phone set, but the dishonest traders import the cell phone sets through illegal channel evading the government tax and duty.

“We are facing uneven competition in the market due to the import of mobile phone sets through illegal channel,” the BMPIA president said.

Treasurer of BMPIA Mahbubul Alam said, most of the sets which enter into the country through illegal channel are fake and refurbished.

About 50 percent mobile phone sets sold through grey market and the customers are being cheated by purchasing these sets as there is no warranty on it, he said, adding, the countries like China and Thailand are the main source of these low-quality sets.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken steps to check stop smuggling mobile phone sets into the country.

To this end, a meeting was held between BTRC and BMPIA on Monday where a decision was taken to form a committee comprising NBR, Customs, BTRC and BMPIA.

BTRC Chairman Major General (retd) Manzurul Alam said, the customers are being cheated frequently by purchasing counterfeit and refurbished mobile sets and the commission has taken strict measures to stop inflow of fake cell phone sets.

According to sources in the BTRC, there were more than 45 million subscribers of six mobile phone companies in Bangladesh till September this year, one of the fastest-growing countries in the cell phone sector.

Of the six operators, the sources said, Grameenphone(GP) is leading in terms of customer acquisition. Till September this year, the GP had 20.62 million subscribers followed by Banglalink 10.14 million, Aktel 7.63 million, Warid 3.86 million, Citycell 1.79 million and state-run Teletalk 0.9 million.

Source: New Nation

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