Telecommunications regulator chooses company to audit Banglalink
The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) selected Masih Muhith Haque & Co – a leading accounting firm in the country – to conduct an audit on Banglalink, the country’s third largest mobile operator.
After auditing Bangladesh’s two largest mobile operators, Grameenphone and Robi Axiata, the regulator now has its eyes on Banglalink, BTRC sources told The Business Standard on Sunday.
Responding to a question, BTRC Vice President Subrata Roy Maitra said, “We had received a number of proposals from different companies and decided to award the job to Masih Muhith Haque & Co as his proposal best meets the commission’s requirements.
“We plan to sign a contract with the firm on Tuesday (August 24) so that the audit can begin.”
The BTRC will pay Tk 8.77 crore to the company for the audit. Under the contract, Masih Muhith Haque & Co will perform the audit on regulatory, legal, technical, financial and other matters from the inception of Banglalink in 1996 until December 31, 2019.
On January 6, the BTRC published a circular inviting firms to propose the audit. At the time, the operator welcomed the initiative of the regulator and expressed optimism that the audit would be conducted in a fair manner.
The operator also expected that all remaining operators, which have not yet been audited (e.g. Airtel and Teletalk), would go through the same process to ensure a level playing field.
In 2018, the BTRC conducted separate audits on two leading operators, Grameenphone and Robi, and claimed 12,579 Tk crore and 867.24 Tk crore from each of them respectively.
To materialize the contested audit allegations, the regulator stopped allowing Grameenphone and Robi to make new investments from July 2019, thwarting their quality of service.
After a long battle, the two operators secured relief from the BTRC restrictions by depositing Tk 2,000 crore and Tk 138 crore respectively, in accordance with High Court guidelines.