Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission proposes license revocation for non-payment of dues

Bangladesh Telecom Commission’s proposed amendment, threatening license revocation for late fee payments, sparks opposition. Stakeholders demand collaborative discussions for any changes to the Telecom Act.

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Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and its license holders are at odds over a proposed amendment to the telecommunication act. The amendment suggests that licenses will be revoked for late payment of dues. If a licensee fails to pay fees and charges on time, they must pay a 15% per annum late fee on the outstanding amount. The license may be canceled if the total, including the late fee, is not paid within 60 days.

In response to objections raised by the license holders, the BTRC has now invited their opinions on the matter. The notice asks the license holders to provide their opinions within 15 days, along with their name, license number, and mobile number.The BTRC has sought stakeholders’ opinions in accordance with Section 39 of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulation Act 2001, following the government’s directive on the proposed amendment or additions.

Mobile phone operators have strongly objected to the unilateral amendment of the Telecom Act, stating that it could negatively impact their business and erode investor confidence. They believe that any amendment to the Telecom Act should be made through discussions and considering all stakeholders’ views.

The BTRC has clarified the rules regarding the payment of late fees and charges for Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) companies. The proposed amendments state that NTTN companies must pay their annual license fee by the specified date. If the payment is overdue, the licensee will have a window of 60 days to pay, along with a 15 percent per annum late fee. Failure to pay may result in the cancellation of the license.