As part of the move, the commission is currently evaluating the applications of 17 firms expressing their interest to get the job
The telecom regulator is speeding up the process of building a system that will allow monitoring the revenue of the mobile phone operators, enabling it to bring transparency in government earnings.
As part of the move, the commission is currently evaluating the applications of 17 firms expressing their interest to get the job, according to officials of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
To determine and collect taxes and other payment currently the government is heavily dependent on the data provided by the operators.
The new system, they claim, will facilitate real time monitoring of voice and data traffic and generate automated revenue report based on the data.
‘We called international tender in December and 17 firms applied. Except a few, most of them are foreign. Currently the technical evaluation is going on,’ a senior commission official has told Dhaka Tribune.
Currently stage-1 of evaluation is going on where matters like project delivery approach, system outline, detailed system specifications, functional and technical dependencies, work plan, time schedule, maintenance plan etc are in consideration, he informs.
The decision to develop a system came in November last year following a longstanding audit dispute with the two mobile phone companies, he says.
‘Whenever we audit the operators they try to find loopholes in it and deny the audit claims. When this system will be in place, everything will be transparent and there will be no room for argument,’ he thinks.
The BTRC in recent move reduced the internet capacity of Grameenphone and Robi as the operators were delaying payment of the audit claims.
The commission also decided to bar any new service and import permit for the two companies.
After auditing the two companies, the BTRC in 2016 claimed Tk12,579.95 crore from market leader GP and Tk867.23 crore from Robi in taxes, and late fees that accumulated over the years.
The BTRC ran its first audit in 2011 on GP, and found financial discrepancies amounting to Tk3,034 crore in the operator's books from its inception in 1996 through to March 2011.
Grameenphone then raised questions about the appointment process of the auditing firm, and after a court ruling the BTRC had to appoint another firm.
In 2016, the BTRC audited the country's second largest operator Robi from its inception in 1997 through to December 2015 for a fee of Tk7.82 crore.