Citycell pays Tk 1.44b to BTRC

Dhaka,  Mon,  05 December 2016
Published : 20 Oct 2016, 00:48:40

Citycell pays Tk 1.44b to BTRC

FE Report


Mobile operator Citycell has deposited a total of Tk 1.44 billion of its outstanding dues to Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Wednesday, officials of the operator said.

"We have deposited Tk 1.44 billion or two-third of our admitted amount of dues to BTRC," Citycell Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mehboob Chowdhury told the FE.

Earlier, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered Citycell to pay two-third of its outstanding dues to the telecom regulator by October 19 to stay in operation.  

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

However, the High Court (HC) opined 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, the Appellate Division issued the latest directive, following a hearing on the BTRC appeal last month.  

"As per the SC order, the admitted amount of regulatory dues is actually Tk 2.16 billion, considering spectrum allocation and other issues," the Citycell CEO claimed.

"So, we have submitted two-third of our dues within the stipulated time," he added.

When contacted, BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told the FE, "We have informed the ministry about the latest development, and are now waiting for the next move from them."

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.

Earlier, the mobile operator said it is in talks with a US-based investment company for bringing new funds for survival.

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