On February 23, the telecom operator had paid Tk1,000 crore to the regulator
Mobile phone operator Grameenphone (GP) is set to pay the remaining Tk1,000 crore to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Tuesday over the latter’s disputed audit claim.
Md Hasan, the operator’s head of external communications, confirmed the development to Dhaka Tribune on Monday.
The Appellate Division, on November 24 last year, had ordered GP to pay Tk2,000 crore to BTRC out of its disputed claim of Tk12,580 crore dues within three months.
After hearing a review petition filed by GP, the apex court on February 20 ordered that GP must pay Tk1,000 crore of the total claim to BTRC within three days.
And, on February 23, after a prolonged legal battle with the telecom regulator, GP paid Tk1,000 crore to BTRC in the first tranche.
Grameenphone in a statement later on Monday also said that it decided to pay the balance adjustable deposit within May 31, following the order of the Appellate Division on its review petition on February 24 relating to the injunction.
The operator also reiterated that it disputes the validity of the BTRC audit and the claim. But its “ambition is to resolve the audit dispute, either through an amicable and transparent solution with the relevant authorities or before the honourable courts.”
With this balance adjustable deposit, the statement said, Grameenphone will have fully complied with the court’s directions relating to the injunction. GP appreciates the recent collaboration with the regulator and looks forward to the continued cooperation to fully restore normal operations.
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 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.
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.