Telecom and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Tuesday asked the Facebook authorities to establish an office in Dhaka to smoothly run its business.
In a meeting with senior officials of the popular social media site at the Mobile World Congress in Spain's Barcelona, he said Facebook would have to pay taxes as per the laws of the land and could share suggestions, if any, with the government in this regard.
Facebook Global Policy Solution Vice-President Richard Allan and South Asian Head of Policy Ashwani Rana represented the company at the meeting.
The government has concerns over tax issues and made it mandatory for top social media platforms like Facebook and Google to pay taxes.
“They are earning millions of dollars from the Bangladesh market and turning obsolete various traditional businesses. So, why won't they pay tax?” Jabbar told The Daily Star over the phone after the meeting.
He said a Bangladeshi delegation raised the issue over there and told them that they need to consider the fact that Bangladesh was a big market for Facebook. There are more than three and a half crore Facebook users in Bangladesh, helping the firm generate about Tk 1,000 crore every year.
“We told them that we have no intention to block Facebook. If you help us, we will cooperate with you in running your business,” said Jabbar.
The minister also asked them to comply with Bangladesh's laws for social issues.
Jabbar also reminded them of the country's laws, cultures, values, rules and regulations and urged the Facebook authorities to abide by those while maintaining all contents.
He also urged them to give an immediate response whenever the government asked to filter any content, which did not match local laws and is harmful for the country.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Chairman Md Jahurul Haque and senior officials of the telecom ministry were present.