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Palak directs NBR to move against unregistered mobile phones

Palak directs NBR to move against unregistered mobile phones

Staff Correspondent

State Minister for Post, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak has directed the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to track and take action against users of high-value unregistered mobile phones.

Emphasising the need for stricter regulation, the state minister instructed the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to maintain a comprehensive database of registered mobile phones.

This database should be readily available to law enforcement agencies, NBR, and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection for immediate verification, he added.

Palak was speaking at a seminar titled "Challenges and Prospects of Mobile Handset Production in Bangladesh," organised by the Telecommunications and Technology Reporters Network Bangladesh (TRNB) at the Telecommunications Directorate in Dhaka’s Tejgaon on Thursday.

Highlighting the country's mobile phone demand, the state minister stated that while Bangladesh had assembled or produced 30 million mobile phones in 2022, the number decreased in subsequent years, despite the steady number of users.

He assured that BTRC would provide the necessary information and technological support to mobile phone manufacturers for checking the use of illegal phones, with assurances from law enforcement and consumer rights departments for full cooperation.

He also outlined several measures to curb the use of illegal handsets. Firstly, he emphasised the importance of maintaining a database of registered and tax-paid imported mobile phones at BTRC to enable real-time verification during enforcement operations. Secondly, he announced plans to update the National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR) system, allowing citizens to check the registration status of their phones and encouraging them to register imported phones.

Moreover, Palak stressed the importance of market monitoring to combat the influx of illegal handsets through unauthorised channels. He requested the Detective Branch chief to initiate operations against such handsets and mentioned a 10% cash incentive for mobile phone exports.

Addressing the integration of 2G and 4G phones, Palak expressed support for increasing smartphone penetration in the country. He also highlighted the significant progress in the telecommunications industry, attributing it to the partnership between governance, industry, academia, and media, as advocated by Prime Minister's Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

This collaborative environment, he noted, has been crucial in achieving the vision of Digital Bangladesh and will continue to be vital as the nation progresses towards becoming a high-income country by 2041.

BTRC Chairman Md Mohiuddin Ahmed, Director General of the Consumer Rights Protection Department AHM Shafiquzzaman, DB Chief Harun Or Rashid, and representatives from leading telecom companies, attended the seminar.

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