Businesses have claimed that the newly imposed duty on digital business contradicts the policy of the government on transformation of trading towards cashless society. Traders urged the government to reconsider the duty on electronic commerce to foster the growth as creating more employments. E-commerce Association of Bangladesh (E-Cab) made the recommendations while addressing a post budget press conference in the capital on Tuesday expressing concern over the newly imposed duty on e-commerce sector. E-Cab President Shomi Kaiser made keynote while Secretary General Abdul Wahed Tomal presided over the meeting at Best Western La Vinci Dhaka.
The association Finance Secretary Muhammad Abdul Haque also present on the occasion. Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal proposed 7.5 percent tax on service and product shipments through virtual business on the incoming fiscal year which created an inconvenience among the businesses. Businesses also emphasised on introducing special code for the sector according to the definition mentioned in National Digital Commerce Policy. Organisers claimed the proposed duty will make barrier in the flow of employment generation and transparency in the sector. Addressing the meeting, E-Cab President Shomi Kaisar said there is no alternative of transformation of business in the line with technology to achieve Digital Bangladesh vision.
“There was created ‘a wrong’ concept among policy makers on e-commerce to cover the digital marketing of Facebook and Google under tax structure. There is far difference between digital marketing and electronic trading. We hope, the policy makers will consider the issue in revised budget,” Shomi explained. Shomi also claimed that any kind of duty may foil the flourishing mode of the sector as most of the e-commerce ventures are at early stage of business now. E-Cab Secretary General Abdul Wahed Tomal said the government should emphasised focus on developing long term plan for e-commerce as emerging sector to receive good revenue return in near future. Tomal said the proposed duty structure on e-commerce will create tow-way taxation on a product which will create pressure on customers and they will miss lead about the newly emerged sector. Officials informed that the trade body leaders have already met with the policy makers in ICT Divisions, National Board of Revenue and Finance Ministry to review the proposal in revised budget.