The Department of Telecommunication has imposed Rs 650 crore penalty on Bharti Airtel for violating roaming norms in 13 circles in between 2003 and 2005. The penalty has been approved by Kapil Sibal, the Telecom Minister in India and the demand notice for the same is expected to be issued this week, EconomicTimes reports. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
Reportedly, a Telecom Ministry official has informed that “The Minister (Kapil Sibal) has approved penalty of Rs 650 crore on SLD (subscriber local dialing) matter” against the operator for violating a license based agreement related to roaming services.
A few weeks back, Airtel was accused by an internal committee of Department of Telecom for routing national and international calls as local calls (SLD) under a scheme till 2005 despite being often notified to stop it in 2003. This had caused a huge loss to the government exchequer and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), which would have otherwise charged the company for using the service.