Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has initiated a move to file cases against a number of public switched telephone network operators to recover the government’s long pending dues from the operators.
The telecom regulator initiated the move following a decision taken at a recently-held meeting presided over by BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.
A BTRC official said that the commission has been preparing files to lodge cases against the private land phone operators as the enteritis’ dues to the government have remained unpaid for years.
Although the companies’ dues to the BTRC have been on the rise, the entities have no
initiative to make any payment, prompting the regulator to take legal move, they said.
The PSTN operators which would face cases include National Telecom, Dhaka Telephone Co, World Tel and SA Telecom.
Operators blame poor state of business as the main reason for non-payment of regulatory dues, but they tried to save their licences, resulting further increase in dues, the BTRC officials said.
Besides filing cases, the BTRC would take regulatory measures against a number of PSTN operators to recover dues, the BTRC official said.
Out of 12 PSTN operators, only two private PSTN operators, Rangs Telecom and Bangla Phone, are currently in operation.
Industry insiders said that with massive surge in mobile phone services in the country, the PSTN business witnessed a setback.
According to BTRC statistics of 2016, Rangs Telecom has dues worth Tk 7.57 crore and Bangla Phone has dues worth 1.30 crore.
The other national and zonal PSTN operators are out of operation and do not pay any revenue sharing, annual fee and other charges to the government, said the officials.
National Telecom dues are worth Tk 8.62 crore, Tele Barta Ltd has 17.04 crore, Dhaka Telephone Co has TK 4.20 crore and Peoples’s Telecommunication has dues worth Tk 3.01 crore, showed the data.
It also showed that among zonal PSTN operators, World Tel has dues worth Tk 2.86 crore, One Tel Communication has Tk 5.27 crore, SA Telecom has Tk 4.34 crore, Jalalabad Telecom has 5.49 crore, Westock Ltd
has Tk 4.74 crore and Next Tel has dues worth Tk 1.32 crore.
State-owned Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited, formerly known as Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board, was the first PSTN operator in the country.
In 1989, the Bangladesh Rural Telecom Authority was permitted to operate as the first private PSTN operator in the country.
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