Mobile operators must pay their dues: BTRC chairman

A pedestrian talks over his mobile phone in the capital. File photo: Star

Four private telecom operators — Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, and Airtel — owe an amount of Tk2,413 crore to the government which remains due as VAT on 2G spectrum fees and licence fees, said the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

“Govt’s money means public money, so operators must have to pay the money,” Md Mohiuddin Ahmed, chairman of BTRC, said while addressing a press conference at the commission’s office in the capital yesterday.

BTRC is determined to take out the money, he added.

“All the laws and policies of the BTRC have been formulated for the welfare of the people. We want to make the telecommunication sector an up-to-date sector in the country,”he added.

Mentioning the recent apex court order to three major telecom operators on the payable amount, he said, “BTRC is working relentlessly to build smart Bangladesh.”

Commissioner of Spectrum Department Prof Sheikh Riaz Ahmed, said the dues of nearly Tk 2,500 crore is govt’s revenue and public money. Telecom operators must pay this.

Ashis Kumar Kundu, director general (Legal and Licensing Division) at BTRC, said as of 22 November last year, Grameenphone owes Tk1,163.85 crore, Banglalink Tk625.27 crore, Robi Tk 565.58 crore, and Airtel Tk59.05 crore.

The BTRC will get 100% of revenue from the operators and the 15% VAT cannot be added, he said.

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