SC orders Citycell to pay Tk 3.18b by October 19

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-23
Published : 23 Sep 2016, 00:24:19

SC orders Citycell to pay Tk 3.18b by October 19

FE Report


Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Citycell to pay two-third of its outstanding dues or Tk 3.18 billion to the telecom regulator by October 19 to stay in operation.

Appellate Division of SC has issued a certified order in this regard on Wednesday.

"Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has received the certified order from SC on Wednesday, which has been forwarded to the mobile operator immediately," a BTRC official told FE on Thursday.

"SC in its certified order has directed Citycell to pay two-third of its outstanding dues within four weeks of receiving the order."

The rest of the dues has to be paid by November 21 as per the new SC directive, the official added.

BTRC, in a public notice on July 31, asked Citycell subscribers to shift to other operators by August 16, as the company has failed to pay total Tk 4.77 billion in dues. The deadline was further extended to August 23.

However, the High Court (HC) later directed that the mobile operator can continue its operation 'unhindered' until September 16, as BTRC has already given Citycell 30 days' time to explain its position.

Afterwards, the telecom regulator filed an appeal against the HC order. In this context, Appellate Division issued the latest directive, following a hearing on the BTRC appeal last month.  

When contacted, Citycell Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mehboob Chowdhury told the FE, "We are hopeful of complying with the latest SC order".

Earlier, the company said it is in talks with a US-based investment company for bringing new funds for the struggling mobile operator. Referring to this, the Citycell CEO said, "We are making positive progress in this regard."  

The country's lone CDMA operator has seen drastic fall in the number of its subscribers during the last few years. Before the recent BTRC move, the total number of Citycell subscribers stood at 0.7 million, down from 1.9 million in 2011.

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