June 24, 2024, 4:01 am

Staff Correspondent

2024-05-22 03:35:49 BdST

FBCCI standing committee urges authorities to make taxes affordable for media outlets

Business leaders belonging to the Press and Media Standing Committee of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) have urged the authorities concerned to reduce the burden of taxes on all news outlets including newspapers, television channels, online news portals etcetera.

At the same time they called upon the government to announce newspapers as an industry of mass importance.

A meeting of the above FBCCI committee was held in the apex trade body’s office in the capital’s Motijheel area on Tuesday.

FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam joined the meeting through online as the chief guest. The event was presided over by Shoeb Chowdhury, Chairman of Press and Media Standing Committee of FBCCI and former FBCCI Director.

Director-in-Charge Md. Rakibul Alam (Dipu) was present at the meeting.

FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam said that the substantial role played by mass media in Bangladesh is immeasurable since independence up to the country’s present socio-economic development journey.

Media outlets have highly contributed to the advancement of business and economic progress of Bangladesh, Mahbubul Alam further said.

He laid emphasis on the fact that media outlets have to work very professionally and competently to deal with the challenges of days to come while approaching the goal of building up Smart Bangladesh.

It is vital to ensure sustainable development of the newspaper industry, Mahbubul Alam stated.

FBCCI Senior Vice President Md. Amin Helali said that it is essential to identify the obstacles that hinder media outlets and to involve all stakeholders in this arena with the above-mentioned standing committee to overcome different drawbacks.

Md. Amin Helali stressed that necessary policy amendments need to be brought about through negotiating the relevant issues with the ministry concerned.

Shoeb Chowdhury said, “Media houses have to survive like all other industries by means of doing business. So, certain facilities and privileges need to be provided to media houses. Taxes imposed on papers, inks, printing appliances need to be reduced. The existing taxes on the television channels’ bandwidth should be brought down too.”

He asserted that there should be special allotment in the supplementary budget for press and media.

Director-in-Charge Md. Rakibul Alam (Dipu) said that a seminar will be soon organized with the top brass of Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Commerce Ministry and other stakeholders and a strategic paper will be prepared for this purpose.

Members of the standing committee exchanged views on facilitating loan disbursement for media workers, ensuring journalists’ remunerations and bonuses, cooperation from different departments and government offices to simplify and speed up the procurement of supplements and advertisements, rapid clearance of pending bills from government organisations and some other points.

The standing committee members also said that it is required to arrange meetings between FBCCI leaders and editors, owners, journalists associated with television channels and newspapers every three months.

Simultaneously the discussants placed importance on inspiring journalists to publish objective and authentic reports and to abstain from unethical journalism. 

The meeting was also attended, among others, by the Prime Minister’s former Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhuri, LGRD Ministry’s Board of Governors member Borhan Uddin Ahmed, FBCCI director Haji Harun Ur Rashid, Managing Director of Cute Cosmetics Limited Kazi Rajib Ahmed, Head of FBCCI International Affairs Wing Jafar Iqbal NDC, committee co-chairman Akkas Mahmud, Mohammad Nizam Uddin Jitu, Ejaz Mohammad and Tawhida Sultana.

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