The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has met 96.77 per cent of its non-tax revenue collection target for the current fiscal year 2019-2020 in ten months, thanks to the partial payments in audit claims worth Tk 1,082.8 crore made by mobile phone operators Grameenphone and Robi.
For FY20, the government fixed the target at Tk 3,100 crore in non-tax revenue collection for the telecom regulator.
Against the target, the telecom regulator deposited around Tk 3,000 crore to the government’s exchequer by April this year, with two more months in hand before the deadline ends for this year.
A large portion of the telecom regulator’s non-tax revenue comes from the telecom operators’ revenue sharing.
Mobile phone operators, the major players in the telecom industry, share 5.5 per cent of their revenues with the BTRC.
The telecom regulator receives 40 per cent of its revenues through incoming international calls.
The BTRC’s revenues from incoming international calls has plunged in recent years due to the fall in incoming international calls through legal channels along with the growing use of mobile application-based calls.
Apart from revenue sharing and other non-tax revenue earnings of the BTRC, Grameenphone paid Tk 1,000 crore and Robi Tk 82.8 crore against the government’s separate audit claims worth Tk 12,579.95 crore and Tk 867.23 crore respectively.
Although the operators had been claiming that the telecom regulator’s report was faulty, they made the partial payments in audit claims to the BTRC following a court order.
As per the court order, GP had to pay Tk 1,000 crore by May while Robi was told to pay Tk 55.2 crore in two monthly installments.
The BTRC officials said that the commission was hopeful about being able to collect around Tk 4,500 crore in the current fiscal year.
BTRC chairman Md Jahurul Haque told New Age, ‘The telecom regulatory commission has been achieving its budgetary target consistently and this year would not be any different.’
‘The efficiency of the officials is the major reason behind the success,’ Jahurul said.
Besides, GP and Robi’s audit claims payments have contributed to the attainment of Tk 3,000 crore in revenues in ten months, he said.
In the last fiscal year 2018-2019, the telecom regulator collected Tk 6,073 crore in non-tax revenue against its Tk 3,025 crore annual revenue collection target.
The regulator received Tk 6,445.36 crore in revenue in FY18, the highest amount collected after Tk 10,085 crore in non-tax revenue collection from the telecom sector largely contributed by the sales of 4G spectrum.
The BTRC collected in Tk 4,066 crore in 2016-17 and Tk 4,207.94 crore in 2015-16.