Grameenphone willing to pay Tk575 crore
Earlier, Grameenphone refused to pay the money it had been asked to pay
Grameenphone does not want to pay the telecom regulator Tk2,000 crore.
The telecom operator filed a writ petition with the Appellate Division on Sunday requesting the court to cut the amount it had been asked to pay.
The largest mobile operator of the country wants to make the payment in 12 instalments, said its officials.
Earlier the Appellate Division asked Grameenphone to pay Tk2,000 crore and Robi to pay Tk138 crore to the telecom regulator.
On January 13, Robi paid the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Tk27.60 crore, as its first instalment, following the High Court order.
The second-largest operator will have to pay its second instalment by February 29.
Questioning the telecom regulator's audit process, earlier, Grameenphone refused to pay the money it had been asked to pay.
However, the operator later filed a petition to cut the amount as it considers the court-ordered amount too much to pay – 87 percent in comparison to the BTRC's principal claim.
Drawing examples from value-added tax (VAT) law in other courts, Grameenphone wanted to pay Tk575 or 25 percent of the principal audit claim of Tk2,300 crore.
The company is seeking consideration of the court to allow it to pay around Tk575 crore in "twelve equal monthly instalments", said Grameenphone's Director and Head of Regulatory Affairs Hossain Sadat.
The government high-ups welcomed Grameenphone's move, but they disagreed with the reason for which Grameenphone wanted to cut its due amount.
"It's good. The company agreed that it owes the people of Bangladesh. Now it is up to the court to decide the amount they will have to pay," said Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar.
"We will talk with them once they pay the court-ordered money."
The telecom regulator on April 2, 2019, demanded Tk12,580 crore from Grameenphone over irregularities.
In turn, the telecom operator filed a case with the lower court, seeking a temporary order on realising the money.
But the court on August 28 scrapped Grameenphone's plea, making it file an appeal with the High Court.
On October 17, the High Court bench of Justice AKM Abdul Hakim and Justice Fatima Nazib issued a two-month injunction against the BTRC's move.
Later, the BTRC appealed to the Appellate Division, seeking a stay order.
On November 18, the Appellate Division set November 24 to pass the order.
Meantime, the regulator also stopped issuing no objection certificate (NOC) to Grameenphone, not allowing it to import network infrastructure.
So the operator is failing to launch new products and number, and do its routine maintenance, said sources at Grameenphone.
However, the operator will be allowed to get the NOCs to import network equipment as the court accepts its request.