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Turn BTCL into a complete public limited company within 6 months

 
 
 
 
Even after 6 years of transformation from the Bangladesh Telephone and Telegraph Board (BTTB) to Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL), the company never became a profitable and service oriented organisation. Released before the media on 30 April 2014 at a press briefing, a TIB conducted study titled “Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited: Governance Challenges and Way Forward” recommended to turn BTCL into a complete public limited company within next 6 months to make it a profitable one and save its existence. Dipu Roy, Programme Manager, Research and Policy presented the findings of the study. M Hafizuddin Khan, Member, Board of Trustees; Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director; Dr Sumaiya Khair, Deputy Executive Director and Mohammad Rafiqul Hassan, Director, Research and Policy were also present during the release.
The study highlighted some major achievements of BTCL – installation of 72 optical networks, optical fibers in 108 unions, 17 exchanges in 3 districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts and internet protocol based interconnection exchange; capacity to connect 47000 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) broadband internet connection; introduction of e-system in different government and district administration offices; reduction of internet, phone connection and call charges etc.
The report noted that despite these achievements; various management limitations accompanied by corruption and mal-governance BTCL is fighting for existence.  
 
 

 

 
 
 
Major challenges ahead of BTCL are running the BTCL board mainly by non-technical government officials, complexities in appointing managing director, absence of procurement policy of its own, shortage of skilled human resources according to the new organogram, political influence and adoption of policies in favour of private telephone companies. 

It is quite disappointing that Quality of services by BTCL have gone down since its transformation. The company should not focus only on earning profit rather focus on earning customers satisfaction- M Hafizuddin Khan


The report revealed that without doing any market survey, the government issued International Gate Way (IGW) license to 25 companies and as a result international incoming calls came down to 209 crore minutes in 2013 from 357 crore minutes in 2010. Apart from these, absence of state of the art call record system caused BTCL revenue lost worth BDT 1500 crore. Among other irregularities, BTCL experienced political appointment, lack of accountability in promotion and transfer, illegal Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) by using BTCL gateway and bribery in delivering services to customers.
Commenting on its performance Hafizuddin Khan said “It is quite disappointing that Quality of services by BTCL have gone down since its transformation. 
 

The company should not focus only on earning profit rather focus on earning customers satisfaction”
Iftekharuzzaman said, “Although the government’s logic behind making BTTB into BTCL was to make it a profitable concern but it never formulated an effective and conducive development plan that made BTCL a losing concern. Government should come up with an implementable development plan and turn BTCL into a complete public limited company without delay.”
To overcome the governance challenges and turn BTCL into a profitable and service oriented organisation, the study proposed 15 recommendations of which reduction of ministry’s interference over BTCL; transformation of BTCL, Tele Talk and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) into a single company, floating of shares within the quickest possible time, formulation of rules for appointment of managing director as well as other officials, annual wealth disclosure of all officials are major.