BTRC bins IGW cos’ plea for Tk 137cr late fee waiver

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:17, Apr 22,2017

 
 

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has again rejected a proposal of the Internet Gateway Operator Forum for waiving late fees of 21 IGW operators amounting to Tk 137.20 crore.
The telecom regulator made the decision in a recent commission meeting presided over by its chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, a BTRC official told New Age on Tuesday.
Although the Telecommunications Act allows the BTRC to impose fine, it does not permit the regulator to waive any penalty or late fee, he said.
So, the BTRC has no scope to waive the late fees of the entities, the official said.
The IGW operators earlier in March this year submitted a proposal to the BTRC in this regard.
As per the conditions of IGW licence and guidelines, a 15-per cent late fee is applicable for delayed payment of revenue sharing money and licence fee.
According to the BTRC, the IGW operators’ late fees stand at Tk 111.90 crore for delayed payment of the revenue sharing money, while the operators also owe Tk 25.30 crore to the government for delayed payment of annual licence fee.
The late fees were imposed on the entities for the entity’s non-payment of revenue sharing and annual licensing fees for the period between July 2012 and June 2015.
The telecom regulator, however, allowed the companies to pay the late fees in instalments.
Under the scope, the IGW operators under Tier-2 will have to pay an instalment of Tk 1.50 crore in two months along with the payment of revenue sharing, while the Tier-1 operators will have to pay Tk 1 crore in an instalment to fulfil their payment.
In November 2016, the BTRC terminated IGW licence of Apple Global Tel Communication.
Apple Global’s operation was initially suspended because of non-payment of the dues but the company later applied to pay the dues in instalments. The commission approved the operator’s application but the company failed to keep its promise. Finally, the commission cancelled its licence.
The dues of the entity were incurred from revenue sharing, annual licence fee, late fee and interest payment to the regulator.
The BTRC in September 2013 blocked operations of 10 IGW operators but later allowed four of them to continue as they started paying dues in instalments.

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