2019-10-06 16:24:38 BdST

GP replies to BTRC show-cause notice


The country's largest telecom operator Grameenphone has replied to a BTRC show cause notice, terming it "unfounded".

On September 04, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRC) served the notice on Grameenphone and Robi, the second-largest operator, asking them to explain in 30 days as to why their licences should not be cancelled for sidestepping the payment of arrears in revenue sharing, late fees and taxes.

The 30-day deadline ends today.

"We are grateful to the Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Hon’ble Minister of Post and Telecommunications and the Chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) for their assistance in the progress to the process of the disputed and unfounded audit claim by BTRC," GP said in a statement.

"The unfounded show-cause notice by BTRC to cancel our licence has not been withdrawn and hence we have provided our responses," it said.

The BTRC has been demanding Tk 125.79 billion from Grameenphone and Tk 8.67 billion from Robi as per findings of the audits into the two operators' books between 1997 and 2014.

But the operators have been seeking alternative dispute resolutions, contesting the original claims found in audit conducted by the government.

Post and telecommunications minister Mostofa Jabbar and BTRC chairman Jahurul Haque and National Board of Revenue chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan last week sat in a meeting to discuss the possibility of a Tk 67.46 billion waiver in late fees to end the ruckus that threatened to dent the country's image among foreign investors.

But the meeting yielded no breakthrough, according to a meeting source.

Grameenphone is majority-owned by Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor and Robi is owned by Malaysia's Axiata Group.

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