GP pays BTRC Tk 1,000cr

GP and BTRC Logo

Grameenphone today deposited Tk 1,000 crore to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) as per the order of the Supreme Court.

Hossain Sadat, head of regulatory affairs of GP, handed over a pay order of Tk 1,000 crore to Jahirul Haque, chairman of BTRC this afternoon, reports our staff correspondent from the spot.

Earlier on Friday, Grameenphone agreed to pay Tk 1,000 crore to telecom regulator BTRC following the Supreme Court order on Thursday.

The operator has taken the decision to get court protection due to the pressure BTRC applied on it and its management, it said in a press release on Friday that was signed off by its head of external communications Md Hasan.

The BTRC's actions included declining no-objection certificates since July, issuing show-cause notice for licence cancellation, and denying recycling of number series, it said.

"These actions have had a negative impact on customer experience and business partners, reduced confidence in the business environment and dented interest from investors," added the statement from the operator, which has 46% share of mobile subscribers in Bangladesh.

But the Norwegian Telenor Group subsidiary's latest move comes after the Supreme Court on Thursday raked it over the coals for failing to pay Tk 2,000 crore as per an earlier order.

"First pay Tk 1,000 crore to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and then come on February 24 [Monday] for further orders," said Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, who led the seven-member committee of the SC's Appellate Division, while passing the order on Thursday.

The order came in response to a review petition filed by Grameenphone earlier on January 26 to allow it to pay Tk 575 crore in twelve equal instalments.

The review petition was filed after the apex court had directed Grameenphone on November 24 last year to pay Tk 2,000 crore to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) within three months (by February 23) against the claim of Tk 12,579.96 crore determined by an audit.

The audit, which looked into Grameenphone's books from its inception in 1997 until 2014, claimed that the carrier owed the amount in revenue shares, taxes and late fees.