The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said that mobile operators have to pay approximately Tk 2,413 million to the government as second-generation (2G) spectrum revenue and license fees due since 2012.
“Government money comes from the public and it has to be paid. The commission has decided to recover the public money from the operators,” said BTRC Chairman Engineer Mohiuddin Ahmed at a press conference at the commission’s premises in the capital on Sunday.
Mohiuddin Ahmed, referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling on payment to three major telecom operators, said, “All the laws and policies of BTRC are designed for the welfare of the people. We want to bring the telecom industry to a higher level. -date industry in the country .”
Earlier in 2011 and 2012, Grameenphone and two other telecom providers filed separate cases challenging the 2G spectrum and license fee regulatory commission’s claim of 100 percent revenue.
On January 10, the Supreme Court ordered three private telecom operators – Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink – to pay Tk 2,354 million to the BTRC, which is the balance of value added tax on 2G spectrum charges and license fees.
In a press conference held on Sunday, BTRC Commissioner (Legal and Licensing Department) Abu Syed Diljar Hussain said that mobile operators have not followed the rules (100+15%) for paying spectrum and license fees. Instead, they made the payment after deducting 15 percent VAT from the base payment for spectrum and license.
BTRC Director General (Legal and Licensing Department) Ashis Kumar Kundu said that as of November 22 last year, Grameenphone had Tk 1,163.85 million, Banglalink Tk625.27 billion, Robi Tk 565.58 billion, Airtel has a debt of 59.05 billion.
BTRC will get 100 percent of its revenue from operators and cannot add 15 percent VAT, he said.
However, the mobile phone operators said that they remitted 15% of the VAT to the National Revenue Service. This imposes double taxation on the operators.
In addition to this issue, in 2019, BTRK demanded an unpaid audit claim of 12,579 million tenge from Grameenphone and 867.24 billion tenge from Robi. But mobile operators have denied the charges, saying they are unreasonable.
After a long legal battle, the two operators settled.
When asked about the amount confirmed by the audit, Abu Syed Diljar Hussain said that these two people deposited around 2,200 million tenge and the matter is now under jurisdiction.
Among others, Director General (Systems and Services Department) BTRC General Dr. Nasim Parvez, Director (Legal and Licensing) Tarek Hassan Siddiqui addressed the press conference.