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GP, Robi, Banglalink must pay BTRC Tk2,500cr: SC

Staff Correspondent
11 Jan 2023 00:01:33 | Update: 11 Jan 2023 00:01:33
GP, Robi, Banglalink must pay BTRC Tk2,500cr: SC

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered three mobile operators –Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi – to pay the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Tk 2,500 crore.

A five-member Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order after disposing of 13 appeals regarding the payments of VAT on the spectrum and licence fees.

The other judges of the bench were Justice Md Nuruzzaman, Justice Obaidul Hassan, Justice Borhanuddin and Justice M Enayetur Rahim.

Following the order, Grameenphone will have to pay around Tk 1,400 crore, Robi Tk 500 crore and Banglalink Tk 600 crore to BTRC as spectrum fees and license fees.

In 2012, the BTRC asked the three mobile companies to pay 15 per cent in VAT against the allocation of 2G frequency.

However, the three mobile operators filed writ petitions with the High Court saying that the fees are too high.

BTRC’s lawyer Khandakar Reza-E-Raquib said that following the verdict, the three mobile operators would have to pay the BTRC around Tk 2,500 crore as due licence renewal fees and revenue sharing fees and assignment fees.

He also said, “Until we receive a copy of the order, we can’t tell how much time we have. However, for now, it can be said that the money has to be paid soon.”

Attorney General AM Amin Uddin said the three mobile operators moved the High Court seeking an exemption from the VAT. However, the companies subsequently lost their writ.

Later, they moved the Appellate Division challenging the High Court verdict. Finally, the Appellate Division rejected their petition, he said.