Telcos seek more time to pay licence renewal fees

February 20, 2012

Four mobile operators will not pay outstanding fees for their licence renewal before they receive the certified copies of the High Court’s verdict on the Grameenphone versus BTRC case.
Officials of Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Citycell yesterday met Zia Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, and expressed their stance on payment. They are supposed to pay a combined amount of Tk 857 crore for licence renewal.
The operators are ready to pay the amount but they want to get the certified copies first in hand, Ahmed said. “But no licence will be renewed as long as there are dues,” he said.
The operators urged the regulator to write off the late fees on renewal charges that piled up since November 10 last year. But Ahmed said BTRC has no authority to waive any money.
Barrister Khandaker Reza-E-Raquib, a lawyer for BTRC, said they have submitted an application to the High Court to issue the copy of the verdict.
Mahmud Hossain, chief corporate officer of GP, said he handed a letter to the BTRC with some queries on the letter that the regulator issued on February 15, asking the operators to pay off all the dues for licence renewal.
Zakiul Islam, director legal and regulatory affairs of Banglalink, said they requested the BTRC chairman to discuss the financial issues after the judgement’s copy was issued.
Mahmudur Rahman, executive vice president of Robi, said the operator should clearly know about the court’s financial directives.
According to a verdict by the High Court on February 13, Grameenphone will have to pay fees on licence renewal to BTRC without any deduction, and deposit additional 15 percent money to the National Board of Revenue as VAT. The operator will receive a rebate on VAT.

-With The Daily Star input

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