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Grameenphone asked to pay 12,579.95 crore in dues

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has sent a letter to the country’s leading telecom operator Grameenphone to pay Tk 12,579.95 crore in dues.

Of the total amount, GP owes Tk 8,494.1 core to BTRC while Tk 4,085.94 to National Board of Revenue (NBR), reports news agency UNB citing BTRC Chairman Jahurul Haque.

“Grameenphone has been asked to pay the sum within 10 to 15 days. Our actual dues was Tk 3000 crore, but now its stands a huge amount following the increase of interest,” he said.

The letter in this regard has been served to the CEO of GP, he added.

When contacted, Sayed Talat Kamal, deputy director (external communications) of the operator, said “We have received the letter on Tuesday afternoon.”

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.”

In a statement issued the operator said, “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. 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.”

According to BTRC, the government has sent a letter to GP, seeking payment of dues last year. In reply to the letter, GP asked for revisit and full evaluation. After re-examination, BTRC sent another letter to GP, which also faced GP’s objection.

Earlier on October 3, 2011, BTRC sent a letter to GP seeking payment of Tk 3034 crore dues, but the operators had raised a question about the government decision to conduct an audit with the country’s audit farm and a bench of the High court stayed audit activities following the petition of the mobile phone operator.

Later, the Supreme Court has asked BTRC to maintain a status quo on the notice for payment by the Grameenphone.

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.