BTCL dues to BTRC rise to Tk 2,157cr

Sanction imposed over local, int’l call capacity

HM Murtuza | Published: 00:05, Apr 17,2018 | Updated: 00:20, Apr 17,2018


The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has imposed a sanction on Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited’s local and international calls as the latter’s outstanding dues to the telecom regulator increased to Tk 2,157 crore at the end of the year 2017.
Under the sanction, the BTRC has reduced the BTCL’s call capacity by 30 per cent from March 29 this year.
Dues of the state-owned entity has been increasing constantly mainly due to its indifference over the issue, officials of BTRC said.
Although the BTRC served a number of notices in this connection to the BTCL, the entity has refrained from giving any reply in terms of clearing the regulator’s fees, charges, revenue sharing money, they said.
For the last instance, the commission on March 14 issued a letter to the BTCL asking the operator to clear its dues within 10 days.
As the operator refrained from paying any dues, the
BTRC imposed the sanction.
Imposition of the sanction on BTCL’s international calls would only hamper its revenue and have no effect on the customers’ end as there are many IGW operators that brine international calls, another BTRC official said.
The official added that imposition of the sanction on BTCL’s local call capacity would create trouble for its local subscribers as some of them might face interruption in generating and receiving calls.
The BTCL, after imposition of the sanction, cleared only Tk 100 crore in two instalments in April, while the commission is yet to get any satisfactory reply from the entity regarding clearing rest of the dues.
According to the BTRC calculation, BTCL’s outstanding dues was Tk 3,924 crore at the end of December last year.
Of the figure, the BTCL so far have cleared Tk 1,767 crore, including the payment of Tk 100 crore in April this year.
The BTCL is yet to share Tk 1,234 crore of its revenue with the BTRC from its International Gateway operation that allows the entity to brine international calls. IGW operators are supposed to share a certain portion of operating revenue with the government against the incoming international calls.
Along with the IGW operation, the BTCL also have licences for operating interconnecting exchange service, international internet gateway, public switched telephone network, nationwide telecommunication transmission network, nationwide internet service and international terrestrial cable.
The BTRC official also said that the commission might take tougher measures for the recovery of dues as it has the mandate to ensure equal treatment among all the operators.
BTCL managing director Mahfuz Uddin Ahmad could not be contacted for his comment as he was in a foreign tour. 

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