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The Financial Express

‘Social media, other platforms to come under tax net’

Information minister says


| Updated: July 06, 2020 09:56:50


‘Social media, other platforms to come under tax net’

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said social media, Over the Top (OTT) and other online platforms would be brought under tax net as well as modern rules and regulations.

The information minister came up with the statement before joining an inter-ministerial meeting through video conference from the meeting room of his ministry at secretariat in Dhaka on Sunday, reports BSS.

Describing the contents on social media and other platforms as growing reality of the present era, Hasan Mahmud said ‘these companies are taking out country’s money, but the government is not getting tax from them’.

He mentioned that OTT platform is one of the growing sectors and there is an opportunity to invest thousands of billions money by paying tax.

The minister said same situation prevailed in other countries at the beginning.  “But, now many countries have introduced rules and regulations,” he added.

Hasan said neighbouring India has introduced different acts, rules and regulations to allow screening contents of other countries by using OTT platforms.

“Even, Facebook registered it as Indian company to run it in India. But it is not registered in our country. And the Posts and Telecommunication Ministry has employed an agent through continuous efforts,” he added.

Hasan Mahmud said the social media platforms are reaching to every people through mobile phone.

“So, there are opportunities to build the society and also to create instability in the society as well,” he added.

“Earlier, we saw attempts to spread rumours and to create communal riots by using social media platforms. At the same time, adverse reactions were created among the youths and juveniles. We should use these medium properly,” said Hasan.

Besides, he said, the new reality is that the country is facing different legal challenges and witnessing flouting of values.

“Different contents including entertainment have been streaming by using such platforms across the globe. It is happening in our country also. But we saw that many allegations were raised against screening of uncensored contents,” he said.

“So, we are working with this issue,” said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.

Posts and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar, State Minister for Information Dr Md Murad Hasan, Posts and Telecommunication Secretary Md Nur-ur-Rahman, Bangladesh Satellite Company Chairman Shahjahan Mahmud and BTRC Chairman Md Jahurul Haque, among others, joined the meeting.

In the meeting, Mustafa Jabbar said, “We expect responsible roles from the directors of social media and OTT platform in the perspective of our social and cultural values, state’s security and law and order. They will have to conduct their businesses by showing regard to the country’s laws and culture.”

As per the decision of the meeting, a five-member committee headed by additional secretary (broadcast) of information ministry was formed to bring the social media and contents in OTT platforms under modern rules and regulations and tax net.

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