VIOLATION OF LAW

RJSC allows BTRC licensee to change ownership

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:46, Oct 16,2020

 
 

The Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms has allowed a shareholder of a company, which was issued a licence by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, to make changes in ownership without checking the telecom regulator’s approval in violation of law.

The BTRC issued a notice in this regard after legal complexity arose regarding the ownership of the BTRC licensee, prompting the commission to issue the notice, a senior official of the commission told New Age on Thursday.

A shareholder of the company managed to change the ownership of the entity without taking the BTRC’s approval, leaving the commission in discomfort, the official said.

Besides, prior to awarding licence to a particular entity, the commission conducts a scrutiny to check whether the owners, directors or shareholders have any criminal records or not, the official said, adding that the commission also went through the entity’s business history before granting the licence.

Change in ownership of a BTRC licensee without its consent may allow an individual, ineligible for licence under the regulatory criteria, to take control over any telecom service, the official said.

According to Section 37(2)(Jha) of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Act, 2001, the commission’s approval is mandatory for changing ownership of a company or firm, licensed by the commission, which results in a change in the control of the business for which the entity was licensed.

For change in the capital structure, issuance and disbursement of new shares, a change in the board of directors, and inclusion of new shareholders are subject to prior approval from the government.

The commission has already issued a letter to the RJSC requesting it to check whether the BTRC licensee has the latter’s authorisation to change ownership.

The commission officials thinks that there may have been other cases where BTRC licensees had changed ownership and other information from the RJSC without taking the BTRC’s approval in violation of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001 along with the relevant conditions of the licensing guidelines.

The commission came up with the clarification for the BTRC licensees in its notice issued by its director Aftab Md Rashedul Wadud on October 8.

In the notice, the commission instructed all of its licensees to comply with the due licensing conditions if they intended to make any changes in shareholding or ownership from the RJSC.

On failure to comply, the commission would take legal measures against the companies or firms under the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001 and relevant licensing conditions, the BTRC notice said.

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