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DUSHANBE -- Private mobile-phone companies in Tajikistan are protesting the state's proposal to have total control over the country's satellite connections, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The companies argue that the government's proposed "one gate" system will act as a censor and scare away foreign investment.

They also point out that Tajiktelecom has a debt of some $50 million and that the attempt to control the entire mobile-phone market is being proposed to ease the financial woes of the company, which is run by the Communications and Transportation Ministry.

The companies have suggested that an independent monitoring body be used in place of the government.