14 May 2012
Axiata Group's Bangladesh unit Robi Axiata lost RM 55.16 million legal battle against regulator in unpaid taxes, further legal options to be considered - Executive Vice President Mahmudur Rahman
(AXIATA closing stock price today (14.5.2012) was RM 5.39)
Axiata Group Bhd's Bangladesh unit, Robi Axiata Ltd, has to pay the government nearly Tk 1.5bil (RM55.16mil) in unpaid taxes after the mobile operator lost a legal battle against the country's telecommunications regulator.
The Financial Express reported the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) lawyer, Khandaker Reza-E Raquib as saying, victory in the crucial case would also pave the way for the realisation of about Tk 10bil (RM368mil) in unpaid revenue from three other operators.
After a hearing of almost four months, the High Court last Sunday, decided that Robi had no authority to deduct any amount from any account. This included such taxes as the value added tax, late fees and other taxes from the Spectrum Assignment Fee or the Licence Renewal Fee, as these exclusively belonged to the BTRC. The court also said the operator would have to pay a late fee of 15 per cent on the total payable amount as penalty.
Following the judgment, BTRC is now entitled to receive Tk 1.41bil(RM51.85mil) as Spectrum Assignment Fee and Licence Renewal Fee up to Feb 15, 2012, along with the 15 per cent late fee amounting to Tk 5.69mil (RM209,233).
Robi's executive vice president Mahmudur Rahman, told the Financial Express that the company would consider further legal options, after getting a copy of the full judgment in about two weeks.