ISPAB threatens to suspend service if VAT not revised
Economic Reporter :
The Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) on Saturday threatened to suspend internet connections across the country "for hours" if double-layer value added tax (VAT), which they said increased their cost about 30 percent, is not revised.
In a virtual press conference, the ISPAB President MA Hakim, said they have no option but to increase user-level charges if the VAT policy is not be revised.
"We have no intention of increasing the fees as the internet is now a basic need for people, but our backs are against the wall," said Hakim.
The association will wait for the call from the government side in July and they will move on with their course of action after discussing with their members, Hakim added. "The shutdown can be one or two hours every week, which will continue," he added.
Imdadul Haque, ISPAB General Secretary, said for the sake of their survival, they will have no other way but to increase the service charges at user-level or compromise the service quality.
"We are yet to set our course of action but this time we have to adopt a hard line," Haque said.
The ISPAB said they have contacted both the telecom minister and ICT state minister, who have also agreed with them. Currently internet service providers are collecting 5 percent VAT from the end users but they have to pay 15 percent VAT on two separate layers for purchasing wholesale bandwidth and connectivity.