New alliance formed for market equality in telecom, ICT

Aiming to ensure fair competitive market for country's private sector, a new alliance named Bangladesh Alliance for Fair Competition (BAFCOM) today started its journey with the participation of representatives from different sectors.

BAFCOM is formed with the collaboration of BASIS, FBCCI, DCCI, MCCI, JCI Bangladesh, Bankers Association, Insurance Association, eCab, BACCO, ISPAB, Bangladesh Copyright and IP Forum, Bangladesh Innovation Forum, Music Industries and all other associations and forums of Bangladesh.

President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) Mustafa Jabbar will lead the fifteen members of the convening committee of the non-profit organization BAFCOM.

The announcement of the new platform made at a press conference at BASIS office this morning to break the monopoly business of few companies, especially in telecommunication and ICT sectors, by ensuring consumers' interest.

Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB)'s Telecom and IT Committee Convener and MCCI's IT Committee Chairman Habibullah N Karim, DCCI Vice-President Atique-E-Rabbani, Band Artist Maksudul Haque, TiE Dhaka Vice-President and Managing Director of Green Delta Insurance Farzana Chowdhury, Bdjobs CEO Fahim Mashrur, BACCO Secretary General Towhid Hossain, Bangladesh Mobile Phones Importers Association (BMPIA) President Ruhul Alam Al Mahbub, Junior Chamber International Bangladesh (JCI) Ex-President Mostafizur Rahman Sohel, Content Provider and Aggregators Association of Bangladesh (CPAAB) President ATM Mahbubul Alam, Bangladesh Copyright and IP Forum Founding CEO Barrister ABM Hamidul Misbah and many others were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the formation of the platform, Mustafa Jabbar said "main focus of this forum is to confirm fair market competition among all sectors of Bangladesh."

Mentioning that there are many organizations like telco who are trying to do monopolies, he said: "Such monopoly business is the main barrier for small and medium entrepreneurs to establish. We do not want such monopoly."

In order to remove such obstacles, Jabbar said "we need proper laws, guidelines and awareness of concerned persons and BAFCOM will work on these issues."

"This forum will not only work in Telecom or IT industries, it will work to ensure fair competition and net neutrality among all sectors," he said, adding, "We will try to create fair market competition through the implementation of Competition Act 2012"

The BAFCOM Convener said: "we will not tolerate any kind of pressure from multinational companies for the sake of our local entrepreneurs."

Habibullah N Karim said, "BAFCOM is our combine effort to confirm consumer rights in Bangladesh. We do not want to be dependent on a bunch of monopoly. We have to work together in order to break the chain of such monopolies".

Atique-E-Rabbani said, "For the development of our economic growth and local entrepreneurs, we need to take of our SMEs first. Government should take initiative for such struggling SMEs to survive instead of giving more opportunities towards Multinational companies."

Band Artist Maksudul Haque said, "It seems like we people from all sectors have become captive to Telecom organizations like GrameenPhone. Almost every sectors including small entrepreneur to Government's different officials has taken possession to their wits."

"The artists are failing to save their own intellectual property rights because of such Telco. Without any permission of respective artists, such so-called East India Companies are doing business on their music, movies and even publish their contents. We want to stand against such activities," he added.

The BAFCOM leaders said they would work to decrease the high price of goods, protect the interest of local ICT entrepreneurs, neutrality of internet; free, legal and competitive market creation, protect intellectual property right, stop piracy, generate incentives for local ICT entrepreneurs, create innovative products and services and attract more foreign investments in ICT sector to build "Digital Bangladesh 2021".

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)