Now BTRC to audit Banglalink

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Banglalink urges govt to audit Airtel and Teletalk also

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has decided to audit the country’s third largest mobile phone operator Banglalink as it sought expression of interest (EOI) from reputed audit firms.

While the telecom regulator has long been in a tussle with GP and Robi over settling the huge audit claims of Tk13,445 crore, the move to audit yet another mobile carrier may create further instability in the industry, fear industry people.

However, Banglalink in response urged the government to audit the remaining two mobile phone operators Airtel and Teletalk to make the field level.

The telecom regulator floated the EOI asking interested parties to submit their proposals by February 4.

The decision on auditing Banglalink was taken at a commission meeting last month which also decided to audit another mobile phone company Airtel that was merged with Robi around two and a half years back.

“Auditing mobile telecom operators is a routine procedure. As part of that process we are going to appoint audit firm for Banglalink,” BTRC Senior Assistant Director Zakir Hossain Khan told Dhaka Tribune. 

According to the EOI, the audit firm must be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) and have prior experience of auditing multinational telecom or IT companies.

The EOI encouraged joint venture audit firm with technical knowledge in relevant field.

The audit of Banglalink will be conducted under the categories such as regulatory and legal matters, technical matters, financial matters and any other related issues.

This is second time the BTRC took initiative to audit Banglalink, having 3.51 crore users as of November last year, as previous plan in 2017 was ditched by the commission for unknown reasons.

BTRC officials said the following the fresh EoI, they would form a new evaluation committee to select an eligible audit firm for the job.

Ankit Sureka, Corporate Communications Senior Manager, Banglalink, said: “As one of the leading compliant organizations in the country, we welcome the move taken by BTRC to audit Banglalink for verifying its compliance with the licence obligations. Along with pledging to fully comply with the terms and conditions of the audit, we would like to assure BTRC of our full cooperation during the audit procedure,”

“However, we expect that the entire audit process will be conducted in an acceptable and fair manner following the local laws and international audit standards so that all the parties can come to a conclusion regarding the matter with full transparency.”

“Furthermore, we also expect that all remaining operators whose audit has not been done yet (e.g. Airtel and Teletalk) should go through the same process to ensure level playing field,” he added.