Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, BTRC, has submitted a report to the High Court stating that three mobile operators, Grameen Phone, Banglalink and Robi had given over Tk. 87.44 billion to Google and Facebook.
The report was submitted on Thursday (Aug 22), at the joint high court bench of justices Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Md Ashraful Kamal.
The report on behalf of BTRC was submitted by a lawyer, AKM Alamgir Parvez Bhuiyan; the writ hearing was by Barrister Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallab.
The state was represented by the deputy attorney general, Tushar Kanti Roy.
The National Board of Revenue, NBR, also submitted a report on the same issue but the high court expressed dissatisfaction over it and asked for resubmission by Oct 19.
Court has also asked NBR to elaborate the steps taken to collect revenue from Internet-based agencies.
On Apr 18, 2018, the High Court had ordered the investigation of all net-based agencies, including Facebook to probe into possibilities of tax evasion.
At the same time, orders were given to collect revenue for adverts on net platforms, sales of domains and licence fees. Court also issued a ruling, asking why an order should not be given to collect necessary revenue from Internet-based companies.
The defendants were asked to respond to the ruling within four weeks. A writ was lodged on Apr 9, 2018, against tax evasion of Facebook and all Internet-based institutions.
The writ asked to bring all net-based institutes under the tax, form of a policy to run the institutes and determine how much money these platforms are taking for their services.
The writ was lodged by six supreme-court lawyers: barristers Mohammad Humayun Kabir, Mohammad Kausar, Mohammad Sajjadul Islam, Mohammad Majedul Kader and advocate Apurba Kumar Biswas.
The writ mentions secretaries of finance, law, information and technology, editor of Prothom Alo, chairman of NBR, authorities of Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Youtube and Bangladesh Bank governor as defendants.