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19 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Audit claim of Tk 12,580cr

Court likely to hear GP review petition today

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) is likely to hold a hearing today on a petition filed by Grameenphone (GP) for permission to pay Tk 575 crore in instalments to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) against dues found during an audit. Attorney-general Mahbubey Alam yesterday told this correspondent that the Appellate Division is likely to hear today the review the petition filed by GP seeking the apex court’s permission to pay Tk 575 crore in 12 equal monthly instalments as adjustable deposits to the BTRC.

Alam also said he will submit arguments before the court on Wednesday as the apex court has already included this in the cause list for Wednesday for hearing on the petition.

On November 24 last year, the apex court ordered GP to pay Tk 2,000 crore to the BTRC, a sum 10 times higher than what the operator was willing to pay. Earlier, on November 14, GP had agreed to pay Tk 200 crore against the telecom regulator’s audit claim of Tk 12,580 crore within the next three months.

This year, on January 26, GP filed a review petition with the apex court seeking permission to pay around Tk. 575 crore in 12 instalments.

On July 22 last year, the BTRC had halted issuance of any no-objection certificates (NOCs) to GP and Robi, the two largest mobile phone operators in the country.

The BTRC’s move followed the announcement by its

chairman on July 17 that the regulator would take stringent steps to realise the Tk 134.46-billion audit claims from the operators.

The restrictions that were imposed forced the operators to suspend the launch of new packages and services, as well as opening letters of credit for the import of equipment and software. The operators were also barred from running packages after the expiry of the BTRC’s existing NOC for the packages.

On January 14, 2020, however, the BTRC lifted the ban on Robi as the operator had paid the first instalment of the Tk. 1.38-billion dues fixed by the High Court (HC) as settlement for the disputed audit demand. On April 2, 2019, the telecom regulator had demanded Tk. 125.80 billion from GP as the audit claim, prompting the company to take recourse to litigation.

 

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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.

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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