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GP pays BTRC Tk1,000cr as partial due of audit claim

  • Published at 04:27 pm February 23rd, 2020
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Earlier on Friday, GP announced it would pay the sum to the BTRC exchequer

Private mobile phone operator Grameenphone (GP) has deposited Tk1,000 crore to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) as partial due of an audit claim, following a court order.

Confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune, BTRC Senior Assistant Director Zakir Hossain Khan said that GP’s Head of Regulatory Affairs Hossain Sadat handed over the amount as pay order to BTRC Chairman Md Jahirul Haque on 3:30pm Sunday.

Earlier on Friday, GP announced it would pay the sum to the BTRC exchequer just a day after the apex court, on Thursday, ordered the telecom operator to pay the amount by Monday.

The apex court's full seven-member bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, issued the order after hearing a review petition filed by the leading mobile phone operator. 

After running an audit on GP, the BTRC in 2016 had claimed Tk12,579.95 crore from the mobile phone operator in taxes and late fees accumulated over the years.

The dispute about the audit intensified last year, with the company facing regulatory punishment, including suspension of service and expansion, for not clearing the audit claim.

On November 24, 2019, the Appellate Division ordered GP to pay Tk2,000 crore of the Tk12,579.95 crore dues within three months. The deadline expires on Monday.

The telecom regulator claimed the dues in 27 sectors from GP, but failed to recover the money. Later, BTRC sent a notice to GP threatening to revoke its licence on April 2 last year.

But GP moved the court, seeking a temporary injunction on the notice which was turned down on August 28 that year. It later filed an appeal with the High Court Division.

On October 17, the High Court imposed a two-month injunction on realization of dues from GP. BTRC later moved the Appellate Division against the order.