Atiur Rahman Believes VAT Free E-Commerce Will Promote Growth

Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman believes that e-commerce is a promising sector in Bangladesh and it is possible to waive VAT for e-trading since the government is making a new VAT law. The government may initially lose revenue due to the tax waiver, but in the long run, it will get higher revenue when e-commerce trading gains momentum.

Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services launched the platform — BASIS E-Commerce Alliance — at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

“It is a common platform for the stakeholders involved in the eco system of e-commerce,” said Shameem Ahsan, president of BASIS.

BASIS E-Commerce Alliance was formed for the outreach of E-Commerce business of the country. This alliance will represent the E-Commerce community of Bangladesh. Moreover, it will work for policy making, development of communication and network to create public awareness. The companies working with online business will be eligible to be members of the alliance.

The platform will boost consumer confidence on online shopping in the country, he said.

Bangladesh will see robust growth in online shopping due to the growing tech-savvy, young population, said AHM Mahfuzul Arif, president of Bangladesh Computer Samity.In 2014 $650 billion was earned via e-commerce platform in Asia, a figure that is 36% more than in 2013. Online shopping in India rose 8 times to $40 billion in 2014 from 2012. Online shopping gained momentum in 2011 after Bangladesh Bank cleared ways for payment by debit and credit cards in local currency.

Currently, the country has around 120 e-commerce sites and around 2,200 F-commerce (Facebook commerce) sites, said Ahsan.

AKM Fahim Mashroor, a former president of BASIS, will work as convener of the new e-commerce alliance.

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Mustafizur Rahman Khan

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