BTRC initiates non-coop move against Robi over VAT on 4G licence

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Apr 30,2018 | Updated: 00:05, Apr 30,2018


Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will non-cooperate with Robi Axiata Limited for non-payment of Tk 18.93-crore value-added tax on fees for 4G licence and technology neutrality within the deadline set by the telecom regulator added taxes.
The telecom regulator initiated the move on Thursday last, a senior official of the commission told New Age.
Under the move, the commission will stop issuing all types of tariffs and no objection certificates to Robi, he said.
Besides, legal action would be taken against the operator as it violated BTRC’s instruction that was issued on April 18 this year to Robi’s chief executive officer Mahtab Uddin Ahmed asked the operator to clear the VAT by April 25, the BTRC official said.
BTRC in the letter said that non-payment of the VAT as per the NBR’s general order was the violation of the conditions of the 4G/LTE licence and guidelines which was not morally or legally acceptable.
There were no legal scopes of taking technology neutrality benefits and obtaining 4G licence and providing services without paying the VAT, it said.
The commission would also issue a letter to National Board of Revenue requesting the revenue authorities to take measures under the taxation rules for the recovery of the money, he said.
Two other mobile phone operators — Grameenphone and Banglalink — have already cleared VAT at a discount rate of five per cent on the fees and charges for 4G mobile phone service licences, spectrum acquisition fees and technology neutrality of spectrum.
The two operators on March 19 paid Tk 152 crore in VAT at the rate of five per cent on fees for 4G service-related regulatory approval.
Robi, however, is yet to clear the VAT and the operator said that it would pay VAT only if the telecom regulator would give it VAT Chalan.
Robi will have to pay VAT amount at the rate of five per cent on the total fees worth Tk 378.63 crore.
Earlier on March 21, NBR’s Large Taxpayers Unit issued a final demand notice to the BTRC for depositing the VAT of Robi immediately to the government exchequer.
Telecom regulator on February 19 handed over 4G/LTE licences to mobile phone operators which started offering the faster internet services on the same day. 

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