The High Court has stayed the National Board of Revenue's (NBR) decision to freeze all the bank accounts of mobile phone operator Robi on charges of tax evasion.
The bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued the stay order on Tuesday after hearing a petition filed by the mobile phone operator.
Barrister Tanjib-ul Islam represented Robi, while Deputy Attorney General SM Moniruzzaman represented the state in court.
The deputy attorney general said an appeal would be filed with the Appellate Division on Wednesday against the High Court order.
On Monday, the NBR directed all commercial banks to freeze Robi's bank accounts for the next three days, claiming that the mobile phone operator had evaded nearly Tk18.73 crore in Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Supplementary Duty (SD).
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The Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) under the NBR's VAT wing sent letters to all of the banks mentioning that the VAT on account of unpaid SD as per trial balance is worth more than Tk10.35 crore, while VAT on space and establishment rent amounts to nearly Tk6.75 crore, SD and VAT on less disclosed SIM (subscriber identity module) numbers amount to over Tk81 lakh, and unpaid VAT on inter-connection service charge of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) is nearly Tk82 lakh.
Meanwhile, Robi said it had successfully concluded outstanding administrative and process matters with the NBR.
As the second largest mobile communications provider for Bangladesh, Robi has demonstrated the highest standards of governance and commitment to contribute to the development of the Bangladesh telecommunication industry, said a press statement issued by Robi.
The company will continue to work closely with relevant authorities in an open and transparent manner to ensure strict adherence to regulations and laws governing business and industry in Bangladesh, the statement said.