National regulator the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is proposing that the country’s 3G licence auction be postponed until July 2013, a BTRC official has informed the Daily Star newspaper. The reason stated for the postponement is the ongoing altercation between the government and domestic mobile network operators over taxes on SIM cards and VAT charges. According to the initial terms and conditions, VAT will be added to the final licence fee; however, unconfirmed sources claim that the government is reportedly considering reducing VAT from 15% to 7.5% on the 3G licence fees. Cellcos have also called for changes in taxation on SIM card sales, arguing that the current tax of BDT600 (USD7.7) per SIM card needs to be reduced and applied per account in order to avoid repeat charges if a customer’s SIM is lost or faulty.
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