It was invitation, not legal notice: Telenor
Published: 09:50 PM, 23 December 2019
Clarifying the issue over a reported ‘legal notice to the President’, Telenor Group has said it was not a legal notice but an invitation letter to him for dialogue.
A statement on Sunday by Cathrine Stang Lund, the Director of Group Communication Asia of Telenor says, “Telenor Group sent an invitation letter for dialogue and not a legal notice.”
According to the treaty process, she said, such letters should be sent to Heads of State.
Telenor made a Bilateral Investment Treaty with the Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Singapore.
Earlier on Thursday, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar said Grameenphone has sent a legal notice to the Bangladesh President through a legal agency in Singapore seeking arbitration with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) over its dues.
Lund said, “It’s Telenor Group’s position that we believe the disputed audit should be solved through dialogue, and that an amicable and transparent solution should be reached between the authorities of Bangladesh and Grameenphone.”
“It remains our hope that this can be solved without international arbitration. It’s an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state,” the statement said.
The statement further said, “Bangladesh has around 30 bilateral investment treaties. The procedures adhered to by Telenor are agreed in the treaty and Telenor is following due process.”
“The process itself is governed by the treaty, and includes a period of six months for discussions after initial invitation letter, before any further steps towards international arbitration can be taken,” the statement added.
On November 24, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court asked mobile phone operator Grameenphone to pay within three months Tk 2,000 crore of the Tk 12,579.95 crore dues as claimed by BTRC.
The BTRC claims dues of Tk 12,579.95 crore in 27 sectors from GP. Having failed to recover the money, the BTRC on April 2 sent a notice to GP threatening to revoke its license.
Later, GP moved a lower court seeking a temporary injunction on the BTRC’s notice which was turned down on August 28. Later, it filed an appeal with the High Court.