12:00 AM, January 25, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 25, 2013

GP Dividends

Grameen Telecom trashes GB chair's claims

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Md Fazlur Rahman

Grameen Telecom yesterday said its dividends from Grameenphone are much less than the figures the Grameen Bank chairman claimed.
"We strongly deny the statements made by Mr Mozammel Haque as they are not correct," said Nazmul Islam, company secretary of Grameen Telecom.
“The statements may create misconception in people's minds.”
Grameen Telecom has not received Tk 30,000 crore in dividends from GP, which mentioned the true dividend figures in the annual reports and the numbers differ from Haque's claims, he added.
Grameen Telecom has so far received about Tk 1,920 crore in dividends from GP since its inception in 1997, a senior official of the company told The Daily Star, asking not to be named.
The reaction from Grameen Telecom comes a day after the government-appointed Grameen Bank chairman claimed that the Tk 30,000 crore Grameen Telecom received from GP was traceless.
"It has been heard that Grameen Telecom has set up another company by the name of Grameen Telecom Trust. Perhaps, the money has been with that company," said Mozammel Haque, adding that the Grameen Bank Commission is investigating the issue.
In a phone interview with The Daily Star yesterday, he insisted that the money was supposed to go to the members of Grameen Bank and be used for their welfare, as per the terms and conditions drawn when the mobile operator was launched 16 years ago.
"But Grameen Bank never received any money,” he said.
But Nazmul Islam said, "Grameen Telecom has no such contractual obligations under which Grameen Bank is entitled to the dividends received by Grameen Telecom from GP."
Grameen Telecom, which owns a 34.2 percent stake in GP, received Tk 642 crore from the mobile operator in 2011, the highest-ever dividend received by the non-profit company in a single year.
Parveen Mahmud, managing director of Grameen Telecom Trust, declined to make any comment.
But a senior official of the trust said, "What the Grameen Bank chairman has said is not true at all."
Whatever money GP has paid to Grameen Telecom as dividends was all documented, the official said.
The trust, the flagship entity responsible for implementing Prof Muhammad Yunus's social business concept, was formed in 2010 under the Trust Act.

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