The Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Authority (BTRC) has been in discussions regarding audit claims with the country's top three operators, Grameenphone, Robi, and Banglalink, for a long time.
In the case of certain operators, things reached the president's desk. Specifically, with Grameenphone and Robi, it even went to court.
Of the three operators, only Banglalink has fully paid the principal amount of Tk 165.75 crore of audit claims.
Banglalink's operations from 1997 to 2019 underwent an audit under the supervision of BTRC. The total audit claim against Banglalink amounts to Tk 823, 05,06,155. Half of this sum, Tk 430 crore, is for delayed audit fees.
Regarding the 2G VAT, Banglalink owes Tk 225 crore and 25 lakhs to the BTRC. They have paid half of this amount in installments.
On November 19, the company visited the BTRC offices and paid the entire principal audit claim of Tk 165.74 crore. Additionally, they made an installment payment for the 2G claim on that day.
Subsequently, a day after this transaction, the BTRC requested Banglalink to clear the remaining Tk 116.84 crore pertaining to the 2G renewal claim within three days as the principal sum.
In response, Banglalink requested to settle this outstanding amount in installments.
Apart from Banglalink, the other two operators have not yet paid the principal amount of the audit claim. They approached the court to resolve the audit claim.
Grameenphone has paid Tk 2,000 crore out of total Tk 12,579.95 crore of audit claims as per the instructions of Appellate Division.
On the other hand, Robi has paid Tk 138 crores out of a total of Tk 867.24 crore. But the principal amount of the audit objection has not been paid yet.
Nevertheless, according to a reliable source, while the late fee was imposed on Banglalink for BTRC's 2G VAT dues, it was not imposed on the other two operators.
BTRC Commissioner (Finance, Accounts, and Revenue) Mushfiq Mannan Chowdhury told journalists that Banglalink has paid the principal amount of the audit claim. This money will be utilized for state development.
He mentioned that they are open to discussing late fees after the principal amount is settled. They have applied for late fees, creating an opportunity for that discussion.