Dhaka, Aug 18 (UNB) - Citizens' Rights Movement (CRM), a consumers rights body, on Saturday demanded for fixing mobile phone call at 10 paisa per minute with per second pulse.
The CRM raised the demand at a press conference held at the office of Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) in the city.
The demand came at a time when Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) last week fixed Tk 0.45 per minute as the uniform minimum call rate for all mobile phone operators and the new rate was made effective from last Monday midnight.
Addressing the Press Conference, CRM’s secretary general Tushar Ahmed also demanded reducing VAT to 10 percent from 15 percent for call rate as mobile subscribers are paying it to the government.
“CRM thinks that a syndicate system has been prevailing in the country’s mobile phone sector. Thousands of people have been made victims of the syndicate as they (people) will never be united to reject the syndicate,” said CRM secretary general alleging that an “evil syndicate” making illogical profit.
Tushar Ahmed alleged that the BTRC has been involved in inspiring mobile operators to get more profit remaining oblivious to subscribers’ interest.
He alleged that mobile phone companies have smuggled out foreign currency worth more than Tk 5 lakh crore abroad from Bangladesh though they (mobile operators) claimed that they have already deposited several thousand crore taka to the government’s treasury as Vat or tax.
The CRM general secretary demanded to publish white papers mentioning how much money were invested in the country by the private mobile phone operators in last two decades as well as how much foreign currency they (Mobile companies) “smuggled out” during the period.
He gave 11-point demands that also include: migration facility keeping same mobile number and inclusion of the number in the NID card, fixing 10 GB internet at Tk 100 to increase internet using facilities in education sector and fixing monthly line rate and call rate of BTCL Tk 20 and Tk 1 for per unit (every 10 minutes).
Among others, chief adviser of the CRM Sayed Margub Morshed, its law secretary Advocate Zulfiq Akhtar and M Enamul Hoque were present during the press conference.