AD Order on Audit Claim Dispute

GP appeals to pay BTRC Tk 575cr

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:47, Jan 26,2020

 
 

A file photo shows the Grameenphone head office in the capital. The leading mobile phone operator on Sunday petitioned the Appellate Division to allow it to pay Tk 575 crore to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission instead of Tk 2,000 crore the court earlier directed the company to pay to settle part of a BTRC audit claim. — New Age photo

Leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone on Sunday petitioned the Appellate Division to allow it to pay Tk 575 crore to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission instead of Tk 2,000 crore the court earlier directed the company to pay to settle part of a BTRC audit claim.

The mobile phone operator also prayed the Appellate Division to allow it to pay Tk 575 crore in twelve equal monthly instalments, GP regulatory affairs head Hossain Sadat told reporters.

He said that GP made the prayer while filing a petition seeking a review to the Appellate Division’s directive.

On November 24, the Appellate Division directed the mobile phone operator to pay Tk 2,000 crore of the BTRC audit claim of Tk 12,579.75 crore in three months.

The AD gave the order based on an appeal submitted by the BTRC against an order of the High Court delivered on October 17 last year.

The HC issued injunction on the government, barring any regulatory measure to recover the audit claim.

Before the court order, the commission initiated a move to appoint administrator to GP in addition to NOC issuance suspension.

As the amount is big, GP has filed the review petition with the court to reset the payment amount in line with the taxation law that allows filing lawsuit regarding any disputed tax amount upon payment of 25 per cent of the disputed amount, Sadat said.

As per the BTRC claim, GP owes Tk 4,086 crore to the National Board of Revenue and the rest Tk 8,498 crore to the BTRC.

‘Once the interest portion (Tk 6,194 crore) of the BTRC audit claim is excluded, the principal amount stands at Tk 2,299 crore and that’s why GP has applied to the court to set the amount at Tk 575 crore,’ the GP official said.

Sadat said that the court earlier allowed mobile operator Robi to clear Tk 138 crore in five instalments and that’s why they appealed the court to allow them to pay Tk 575 crore in twelve instalments.

GP would be able to secure BTRC’s no objection certificate, required to import equipment for network expansion and maintenance, upon payment of the instalments if the AD accepts GP’s prayer, he said, adding that there would be scope for engaging in discussion with the government even the court allowed GP to clear Tk 575 crore for now.

Although the court delivered its order on November 24, GP received the certified copy of the order on December 29, he mentioned.

Asked whether the mobile phone operator would go to the international court over the audit claim dispute, the GP official said that the operator would comply with the law of the land.

He, however, said that Telenor Group, the parent company of GP, would deal the issue on its own way.

Speaking about the operator’s stance on the NBR’s portion amounting to Tk 4,086 crore, the GP regulatory affairs head said that the operator was dealing the issue and it was in the process of settling the claim.

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