According to the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 does not reflect the true need for the development of the country’s software and IT-enabled services (ITES) sector.
BASIS Vice President (Admin) Abu Daud Khan thanked Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal for increasing the IT sector’s allocation by 16.69 per cent, or approximately Tk274 crore, over the revised budget for the current fiscal year (2021-22). Meanwhile, the software and ITES industries are now subject to a 5 per cent withholding VAT at the business level. “Furthermore, we proposed establishing a Tk300 crore fund to provide loans at 2 per cent interest rates in order to increase women’s employment in this sector, as well as a government incentive of 10 per cent on the monthly salaries of women employees at software and IT companies that create jobs. These issues are not addressed in the budget “, Fahim stated.
“The budget also did not consider our proposal to allocate Tk500 crore for the Technical Assistance Project and to provide cash incentives to both buyers and merchants at the rates of 3 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively,” BASIS Director AKM Ahmedul Islam Babu said during the briefing.