Limited success: BTTB inches closer to becoming BTCL

4 Mar 2008

Bangladesh’s council of advisors has agreed in principle to approve draft legislation to convert state-run national PTO Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board into a public limited company, nearly four years after the process was initiated. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications must resubmit the proposal to the advisory council for final approval by 30 April after completing further formalities and vetting by the law ministry. Under the draft bill, the state-owned BTTB will become a government-owned public limited company named Bangladesh Telecom Company Ltd (BTCL). Its wholly owned mobile subsidiary, Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd, will remain a subordinate company under separate management. The proposed company will have a nine-member board with the telecoms secretary as its chairman and the company’s managing director as member-secretary.

In April 2004 former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia approved proposals to turn BTTB into a public limited company with financial autonomy under the Companies Act of 1994. In September 2005 the government appointed German firm DeTeCon International as consultant for restructuring BTTB, but the project remains unfinished. DeTeCon prepared marketing and business plans for the new company but was unable to complete the crucial task of evaluating its assets and liabilities.

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