Mobile operators owe govt Tk 15,000cr

The country’s mobile phone operator companies owe the government exchequer a whopping Tk 15,160.31 crore in outstanding revenue. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) regularly audits recently claimed the amount. Of the total amount, leading mobile phone operator of the country, Grameenphone owes TK 12,579.95 crore.

Mentionable, on April 2, BTRC had issued a demand against Grameenphone of Tk 8,494.01 crore to the telecom regulator and Tk 4,085.94 crore to the National Board of Revenue (NBR). Recently, at a parliamentary session, post, telecommunication and information technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar told the parliament about the issue.

Even the BTRC letter asked the Grameenphone to pay the amount within 10 working days, but still the mobile operator has been unable to pay the amount and in reply it said the amount is “unfounded and without any legal basis.” The operator has requested that the demand be withdrawn and also requested discussions with a view to finding an amicable resolution.

After Grameenphone, there is state-owned mobile operator company Taletalk, from which the government has audit objection of Tk 1,128 crore for 3G spectrum assignment fee. Another mobile operator is Robi, from which the government is likely to get Tk 867.23 crore. But the other private mobile phone operator is out of the list.

The minister also informed that even another private mobile phone operator Citycell, shut down for three years, still has to pay TK 128 crore to the government exchequer. Soon, audit activities for Banglalink and Airtel will be performed and auditor appointment is under process for the purpose. The auditor appointment procedure is hanging since 2011, the authority concerned is still unable to appoint auditor for the audit procedure of Banglalink and Airtel.

The minister further informed that the BTRC regularly audits the activities of mobile phone operators in ensuring revenue collection and measures are being taken as per the audit reports.