TV cable operators will be under taxation: NBR chairman
Published: 08:23 PM, 24 March 2021
Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Munim
TV cable operators will be brought under the tax, said the Chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Munim.
He was speaking at the NBR’s pre-budget discussion for the fiscal year 2021-22 with the Newspapers Owners Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) and the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO).
He said, “The tax we get from cable operators is negligible. There is an opportunity to expand the tax net in this place. We want to explore that. However, it is important to bring all operators on one platform. The system needs to be digitized.”
The NBR chairman further said, “With the help of the associations of TV cable operators, we can get the VAT registration and ETIN of the operators done.” He expressed hope that if that is done, a lot of revenue will come from there.
He said he would request the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of ICT to bring cable operators on one platform. Let them make a policy so that the cable operators move to one of the platforms.
Regarding the proposal to withdraw import duty and VAT on newsprint, the main raw material of the newspaper, Rahmatul Munim said that import duty and VAT were imposed on newsprint, not only for the purpose of collecting revenue. Here we have to keep in mind the development of domestic industry.
He said several companies are currently producing newsprint. We will review the quality of their paper.
AK Azad, president of NOAB and owner of the daily Samakal, said newspapers are a service industry. The industry is currently going through a bad time amid the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, it is not possible to sustain this industry with Tax-VAT like other industries.
He said the main raw material of the newspaper, Newsprint, is currently subject to a total of 30 percent VAT and duty, including 5 percent import duty. He proposed the repeal of 5 percent import duty and reduction of other taxes due to the Coronavirus situation.
ATCO vice-president Mozammel Babu proposed to declare television or electronics media as an industry like newspapers. He said this would make it easier for television owners to pay tax and VAT.
He added that a quarter of domestic advertising is going abroad. In particular, multinational companies are publishing their advertisements on foreign channels. He remarked that the government is losing a large amount of revenue.
Mahfuz Anam, editor of Daily Star and Hanif Mahmud, editor of Daily Banik Barta spoke at the event.