Bill approved to recognise BTCL
A parliamentary standing committee on telecommunication yesterday approved a bill to recognise Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL), which was made a public limited company in July last year by the caretaker government.
In the bill the committee also gave go-ahead to Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) that was shaped as a company along with BTCL by abolishing Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB).
"We approved a bill regarding transformation of BTTB into two separate entities -- BTCL and BSCCL," said Hasanul Haq Inu, chairman of the standing committee, after a meeting.
Officials said the bill would be placed in parliament soon to be passed, although it had to see passage by February 24.
The standing committee included a clause in the bill to recognise the activities of these organisations until the passage of the bill.
The standing committee also discussed the possibility of consolidating state-owned BTCL, BSCCL and TeleTalk to run these companies under a single entity.
However the same committee earlier raised questions about the transformation process of BTTB into BTCL and BSCCL.
Inu said the government would later bring changes to the present BTCL and BSCCL memorandum of article if necessary.
The standing committee also formed a separate committee headed by Sunil Kanti Bose, secretary to the telecom ministry, to look into the transformation process of BTCL and BSCCL, and assess the asset value of BTTB.
Now BTCL is responsible for running landline operation, while BSCCL for handling the country's lone undersea cable.
To June 2008, BTTB's yearly revenue was Tk1,560 crore. BTTB handled the undersea cable and ran land phone business as well. After abolishing BTTB, revenue of BTCL stood at Tk 800 crore in six months to December 2008, while BSCCL revenue was Tk30 crore during the fixt six months after commencement.
BTCL has 8 lakh landline customers. So far it is the largest landline operator among the 12 companies in the market.