Licence renewal of 2G telecom companies to be done by Sept

FE Report

The chief of parliamentary standing committee on post and telecommunications, Hasanul Haq Inu, said the licence renewal process of 2G telecom companies will be done by upcoming September in a transparent way after consulting with all stakeholders.

The remarks came at a seminar on Implementing the Vision of Digital Bangladesh: Role of Telecommunication and ICT sector at a city hotel Tuesday.

Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) organised the event where four telecom operators expressed concern over the draft of licence renewal guidelines prepared by the regulatory body – Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

BEI president Farooq Sobhan presided over the function.

The draft guidelines will be finalised after consultations with government officials, cell phone operators and other stakeholders, Inu said, adding that the charge rate for renewal of licenses will be reduced down if it hampers growth of the sector.

He said the sector should be kept out of all types of taxation vats and surcharges for the next three years for its proper growth as without advancement of the industry the government’s vision to make digital Bangladesh by 2021 will not be possible to achieve.

Secretary of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications Sunil Kanti Bose said the worries of telecom operators over the guidelines will be considered before the final decision is taken. We will try to discharge it as our main objective is to ensure better investment atmosphere in Bangladesh, he added.

BTRC chairman Maj Gen (retd) Zia Ahmed said they have been considering the government vision and success of the capable and efficient operators to do business in Bangladesh for the next 15 years.

We didn’t take any move, which will hurt the sector as it has already generated employment of 1.50 million people and contributed Tk 70 billion to the exchequer over the last two years, he said.

Among the six mobile operators, five licenses will expire by December 2011.

09 February, 2011