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25 February, 2020 01:01:09 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 February, 2020 12:45:39 PM

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Abide by local laws to do business: SC

GP gets 3 months to pay remaining Tk 1,000cr
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Abide by local laws to do business: SC

Supreme Court (SC) yesterday said it wants foreign companies to do business in Bangladesh peacefully abiding by all relevant rules and regulations of the country. “We want foreign companies to do business in this country peacefully. But, for doing so, they must obey all the laws of the land,” said Chief Justice (CJ) Syed Mahmud Hossain.

He came up with the remarks while hearing a review petition filed by the country’s largest mobile operator Grameenphone (GP) seeking permission to pay Tk 575 crore to BTRC in 12 equal instalments.

The apex court also ordered GP to deposit Tk 1,000 crore more out of the BTRC-claimed Tk 12,579 crore dues within the next three months.

If the country’s leading telecom operator fails to pay the amount within three months, the High Court (HC) injunction against realisation of Tk 12,579 crore by the BTRC will be vacated, said the highest court.

A six-member bench of the AD, headed by the CJ, passed the order a day after GP deposited Tk 1,000 crore with the BTRC. The apex court’s order came when the bench was hearing a review petition filed by GP on January 26 for permission to pay Tk. 575 crore in 12 equal instalments.

When contacted, GP’s

Head of Communications Khairul Bashar said, “We appreciate that the SC has maintained the injunction. We will evaluate the order before making further comments.”

During yesterday’s hearing, GP lawyers Advocate AM Aminuddin and Barrister Mehedi Hassan Chowdhury, placed documents before the apex court judges to show that Tk 1,000 crore had already been paid to the telecom regulator (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) on Sunday.

Later, the CJ asked the GP lawyer when the company would pay the remaining Tk 1,000 crore to the BTRC.

In reply, Aminuddin told the court, “Give us six months to pay the remaining sum. Robi Axiata was given six months to pay only Tk 120 crore to the BTRC. We are paying Tk 2,000 crore. We need six months.”

The CJ responded, “We want foreign companies to run their businesses in our country while abiding by our rules and regulations.” GP’s lawyer once again requested that the court allow six months more for the payment of the remaining Tk. 1,000 crore. But the CJ did not agree.

“The court is giving three months’ time for GP to pay the remaining amount. They must pay it to the BTRC without getting failed,” he said. During the hearing on review petition, GP lawyer Advocate AM Amin Uddin raised question about imposition of simple interest rate on Robi Axiata Ltd while a compound interest rate on Grameenphone, his client.

Earlier during the hearing on Thursday, Advocate Amin also told the court that the telecom regulatory body imposed simple interest on other claimed dues while it imposed compound interest on the GP dues. If the BTRC imposed simple interest on the GP, the actual amount would have been significantly lower, he noted.

Earlier, the telecom regulator had separately audited GP and Robi from their inception until December 2014, claiming dues of Tk. 12,579.95 crore from GP and Tk. 867.24 crore from Robi. Both operators filed separate cases against the audit.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and barrister Khandaker Reza-E-Raquib moved on behalf of the BTRC during yesterday’s proceedings.

MK

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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