BTRC moves to appoint administrators to GP, Robi

HM Murtuza | Published: 00:00, Oct 17,2019


The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has taken a move to appoint administrators to mobile operators Grameenphone and Robi over non-payment of audit claims worth Tk 13,446 crore.

The commission at a meeting on Monday decided in principle to appoint the administrators to the mobile companies and conveyed its plan to the telecom ministry, BTRC officials said.

The ministry advised the BTRC to search for suitable persons for appointment to the administrator posts.

‘We are currently looking for honest, capable and competent persons to be appointed as administrators,’ BTRC chairman Jahurul Haque told New Age on Wednesday.

‘Once the ministry gives approval to our selection, we will go forward on the next course of action,’ he said.

Asked whether the BTRC sought the ministry’s approval for appointing administrators to GP and Robi, posts and telecommunications minister Mustafa Jabbar told New Age that the telecom regulator was following due course in appointing administrators.

‘The BTRC has served show-cause notices [for non-payment of audit claims] to the operators. The operators have submitted their responses which the BTRC did not accept. So, the regulator is now proceeding to appoint administrators,’ he said.

He said that the ministry would approve the appointment of administrators when it would be required.

The BTRC move followed the submission of responses made by the mobile companies to show-cause notices that the commission had served on them.

The regulator’s move also comes at a time when the companies are in talks with finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal over the audit claim payment issue.

In the response to the BTRC show-cause notices, Grameenphone and Robi challenged the legality of the notices served on them which had asked them to reply within 30 days why their licences would not be cancelled for failure to pay the dues.

The show-cause notices were served on the operators on September 5.

The operators said that they had filed cases in August, challenging the audit claims before the notices were issued.

They said that the issue was now sub judice that was why the BTRC should not have served the show-cause notices.

The BTRC demanded Tk 12,579.95 crore from Grameenphone and Tk 867.24 crore from Robi in unpaid dues following audits by two auditors appointed by the regulator.

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