Three of the country's top telecom operators have collectively paid around Tk300 crore in revenue sharing with the government for the January-March period of the year amid the Covid-19 shutdown.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) officials, on Wednesday, said that the payments were made the second week of April.
According to BTRC sources, leading mobile operator Grameenphone paid around Tk127 crore, Robi around Tk100 crore and Banglalink paid around Tk69 crore in the first quarter of the year.
The installment of audit claims of mobile operator Robi, Tk 27.69 crore, was also paid in due time during the lockdown.
A senior BTRC official familiar with the process told The Business Standard that the revenue of the telecom operators has increased this year compared to the same period last year.
"Although operators claim their business was dull, the increased revenue sharing indicates otherwise," said the BTRC official.
According to the regulations, the mobile phone operators are required to share 5.5 percent of their total revenue with the government.
However, mobile phone companies have recently sought an exemption from revenue sharing, for a couple of months, so that they can tackle the fallout from the Covid-19 shutdown.
The BTRC official claims that the stance of the telecom operators is contradictory to their own claims.
"On one hand they are asking for an exemption from revenue sharing due to poor business, on the other, they are demanding an additional spectrum, free of cost, due to increasing demand," the official said.
In regards to revenue collection from other operators, the BTRC official said that they are currently focusing on large revenue amounts and are sparing small ones.
"These mobile operators pay the lion's share of the revenue earnings as we receive little more than Tk 300 crore from them in the first quarter," the official said.
According to the official, the collection of revenue from those operators will create mass gatherings and it is not worth it for the amount receivable.