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B'desh e-commerce sector demands waiver of taxes
Jun '16
IT and e-commerce entrepreneurs in Bangladesh have urged the government to waive all kinds of taxes and VAT until 2024 for the sake of the sector's growth.

At a post budget discussion in Dhaka, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Abdul Matlub Ahmad urged the government to provide financial and policy supports to IT business and e-commerce as the sector has the potential to register robust growth, according to media reports.

“Bangladesh is the second largest apparel exporter in the world. The garment sector could reach this stage because of the government's long-term policy support and financial incentives,” he said at the discussion jointly organised by Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), e-commerce association of Bangladesh (ECAB), Association of Mobile Telephone Operators (AMTOB), Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) and the FBCCI.

Similarly, the IT and e-commerce sector has the potential to be one of the major sectors for export, employment and economic development, he said.

Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, senior vice president of FBBCI, said the digital sector in Bangladesh is burdened with tax. "This is a growing sector. We should look for the long term and not burden this sector with these sorts of taxes," he said.

“This is a nascent sector with the potential to be a giant,” said Razib Ahmed, president of the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh or e-CAB.

The government should also give a cluster allocation of Tk 100 crore so that the entrepreneurs can get easy loans for starting or running their businesses.

Ahmed said the government should nurture the e-commerce sector given that it is only a starter in the $500 billion global e-commerce market. He cautioned that the sector might face serious challenges for the possible arrival of global giants Amazon and Alibaba in 2017.

Shameem Ahsan, president of the Bangladesh Software and Information Services Association, also said e-commerce entrepreneurs are worried as the government has withdrawn all financial incentives for them in the new budget.

Since all the sectors are now linked to e-commerce, the country's businesses would be hampered if the growth of the sector is held back, he said, and called for exemption of all kinds of taxes and VAT from e-commerce. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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