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Imposing VAT on E commerce sector is a major threat

A 4% value added tax (VAT) has been proposed on the trading of online goods and services (e-commerce) in the budget for the fiscal year 2015-2016. Due to this, the sector will probably face a decline in growth and development in the coming year, warns BASIS E-Commerce Alliance.

This warning has been issued in a press conference organized by BASIS E-Commerce Alliance, which is the representative of the country’s e-commerce sector. The Press Conference was held on Tuesday.

The press conference was presided over by the Convener of the BASIS E-Commerce Alliance, Mr. Fahim Mashroor. BASIS President Mr. Shameem Ahsan, Senior Vice President Mr. Russell T. Ahmed, Secretary General Mr. Uttam Kumar Paul, Treasurer and the Co-Convener Mr. Shah Imrul Kayeesh, Executive Director of BASIS Mr. Sami Ahmed, along with members from the BASIS executive committee and the BASIS E-Commerce Alliance Convener Committee were also present in this Press Conference.

At his speech, Mr. Shameem Ahsan said, “The 4% percent VAT will be a severe barrier to the E commerce sector. This may cause buyers to be reluctant to shop using e commerce. Aside from that, there are many young companies invested in this sector and they may face difficulties. That is why, for the e commerce sector to grow and develop, we request that the E-Commerce sector be VAT exempt for the next 3-4 years. We hope that the Honorable Finance Minister and the members of the Parliament will give this issue the utmost importance in the budget.”

The convener of the BASIS E Commerce Alliance, Mr. Fahim Mashroor said, “Adding a 4% VAT on this will only create an extra 3-4 Crore taka revenue for the Government. On the other hand, this sector will create many scopes for employment and few lakhs of entrepreneurs in this sector. In this regard, the VAT will create a huge obstacle in this sector.

An in depth discussion took place in the program on the adverse effects of the newly imposed VAT and the speakers gave detailed clarification for its withdrawal.

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