Govt asks GP to pay Tk 12579.95 cr
The government has sent a notice claiming Tk 12579.95 crore dues from Grameenphone.
Of the total amount, the leading mobile phone operator owes Tk 8494.01 crore to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and Tk 4085.94 crore to National Board of Revenue (NBR), Md Jahurul Haque, chairman of BTRC, told The Daily Star tonight.
GP was given two weeks to pay the due, the BTRC chairman said.
A demand letter in this regard was sent to GP this evening, he added.
Meanwhile, in response to the move by the government authorities Grameenphone said it "does not admit the demand and will now make a full assessment to determine the appropriate course of action."
"Despite numerous interactions with the Regulator and extending our full cooperation to the auditors, it is very unfortunate to note that the demand note does not reflect our concerns," the mobile phone operator said in a press statement tonight.
"Throughout the entire audit process we have pointed out the errors in the methodologies, procedure and substance of this audit exercise; however, our observations have gone unheeded. Grameenphone is a transparent company and adheres to the applicable laws of the land," the GP statement reads.
Grameenphone's woes over unpaid dues just got worse the government now claims more following revision of the audit books.
Last year, following audit into Grameenphone's books from its inception until June 2015 the government had claimed Tk 11,530.15 crore -- an amount that was disputed by the leading mobile operator.
The telecom watchdog ran its first audit back in 2011 and unearthed financial discrepancies amounting to Tk 3,034 crore in the operator's books from its inception in 1996 through to March 2011.
Grameenphone then disputed the appointment process of the auditing firm, so in October 2015 another firm, Toha Khan Zaman & Co., was asked to pore over the country's leading operator's books from its inception until June 2015.
Norwegian Telenor has a 55.8 percent share of Grameenphone and Grameen Telecom Corporation 34.2 percent; the remaining 10 percent of the shares belong to retail and institutional investors.
Earlier, the regulator claimed Tk 867.24 crore from the country's second largest operator Robi as missed or under payments over a 19-year period, detected after a thorough audit.
Robi is yet to furnish the amount, saying the grounds on which the claims were made by the auditor were sub judice.