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17 January, 2020 01:42:56 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 January, 2020 02:41:17 PM
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GP willing to pay Tk 2000cr to meet BTRC audit claim

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
GP willing to pay Tk 2000cr to meet BTRC audit claim

Grameenphone (GP), the country’s largest mobile phone company, has proposed to obey the highest court’s order, indicating that it wants to pay Tk. 2,000 crore to meet the government’s audit claim against GP. The newly-appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of GP, Yasir Azman, the first Bangladeshi to hold the post, yesterday (Thursday) met the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman, Jahurul Haque, to discuss the issue.

“The GP official discussed the court order to pay Tk. 2,000 crore. They wanted to pay the money in instalments. I’ve just declined the offer as the Supreme Court’s order is to take Tk. 2,000 crore in a single instalment. Therefore, I cannot take it in phases. I requested them to take the court order again and give the money in a single instalment,” the BTRC chairman told The Independent yesterday.

“But remember, I won’t believe it till I get GP’s money in hand or in the bank,” Haque added.

Sources said GP recently discussed the issue with some stakeholders to resolve the ‘tug-of-war’ situation with the government. All the stakeholders advised them to solve the issue by paying Tk. 2,000 crore, as ordered by the Supreme Court. Also, the recent stand of Robi, the second largest mobile operator in the country, has actuated GP’s top-ranking officials to rethink the BTRC’s audit claim. On Tuesday, Robi Axiata Ltd deposited Tk. 27,600,000 as the first instalment of five against the BTRC’s claim.  

“As a part of its strategy, GP appointed its first Bangladeshi CEO. Yasir Azman’s appointment was announced yesterday,” said an industry insider. In October last year, GP’s major shareholder, Telenor Asia, sent a notice to President Abdul Hamid seeking arbitration for the audit dispute after the BTRC demanded Tk. 12,579 crore following an audit in the company in 2016.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, on November 24 last year, asked GP to pay Tk. 2,000 crore within three months. This period is scheduled to end on February 23. Talking to The Independent, the BTRC chairman said: “I asked them about their legal notice to the President of Bangladesh, which the government top brass has taken very seriously. They told me that it was a letter, not a legal notice. But I know, as an ex-judge of the country, that the notice was a legal notice.”

When asked, GP’s spokesperson declined to comment on the issue.

MK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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