The procedures followed by the tax administrator in claiming around Tk 2,464 crore in SIM replacement taxes from four mobile operators were inconsistent with the original terms and conditions of a review committee, Grameenphone said yesterday.
"The procedure followed was inconsistent with original terms of reference regarding the report prepared by the committee members," its CEO Vivek Sood said at a press conference at the Westin hotel in Dhaka.
“We are hopeful that the NBR [National Board of Revenue] and the finance ministry will find a way to resolve the deadlock.”
The NBR last month came up with a fresh report saying that the four operators will now have to pay Tk 2,464.88 crore, instead of Tk 3,010 crore claimed in an NBR report published in December.
According to the latest claim, Grameenphone's outstanding tax is Tk 1,305.52 crore; the amount was Tk 1,562 crore earlier.
Banglalink's outstanding amount came down to Tk 566.98 crore from Tk 762 crore; Robi has to pay Tk 558.92 crore instead of Tk 647 crore, while Airtel will pay Tk 33.46 crore from Tk 39 crore mentioned in the previous report.
But if the NBR takes the telecom regulator's arguments, these amounts would come down to Tk 331.88 crore for Grameenphone, Tk 65.79 crore for Banglalink, Tk 121.69 crore for Robi and Tk 1.24 crore for Airtel.
The NBR has been demanding the taxes since early 2012. After analysing the documents, it first demanded Tk 3,062 crore. None of the four operators gave consent to the NBR report, terming it “unilateral and unacceptable.”
The operators said they did not resell the SIMs, rather replaced them, so no tax would be applicable.