The Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) says the proposed budget for fiscal year 2021-22 did not reflect the demands placed for the development of this sector.
Compared to the infrastructure development budget for various ministries and departments, no budget is allocated for information technology services, said BASIS president Syed Almas Kabir.
He made the observation on a virtual press conference on Saturday as part of the association's budget reaction.
He said the country is currently engaged in many large infrastructure projects like the Metrorail, Padma Bridge, the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant, and an airport terminal, where expenditure for the local software sector engaged in these mega projects is not apparent and visible.
If the use of information technology is not ensured alongside the infrastructure development, and if local software firms do not get the opportunity to provide software or IT services for these projects, the country's software and IT services industry will not expand, he added.
BASIS is demanding a business and investment friendly budget for the ICT sector before the budget is approved and finalised.
BASIS president Syed Almas Kabir also demanded e-commerce and online businesses be exempt from the source tax and the Advance Trade VAT.
To encourage mobile financial services (MFS), the sector needs to be exempt from VAT, he continued.
Among others from the organization, Senior Vice President Farhana A Rahman, Vice President (admin), Shoeb Ahmed Masud, Vice President (finance), Mushfiqur Rahman, and Directors Tamzid Siddiq Spondon and Rashad Kabir, were also present at the press conference.