The Department of Telecom has issued notices to six telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications, for recovery of Rs 12,488.93 crore for underpayment of license and spectrum usage charges, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha today said. “Based on a CAG report, license agreement and extant orders of DoT, demand-cum-show cause notices for License Fee (LF) for four financial years have been issued to the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs),” he said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha. Also Read - Airtel 5G Mumbai trials show download speeds of 1.2Gbps, upload at 850MbpsAlso Read - Vi prepaid recharge plans July 2021: List of all Vi recharge plans under Rs 500 with benefits, validity
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) conducted the audit of six private telecom service providers and submitted its audit report, the minister said. “As per this report, total under-reporting of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) is Rs 46,045.75 crore for the period from 2006-07 to 2009-10. As per the report…of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the under-reporting of AGR lead to underpayment of LF/SUC, interest and penalty of Rs 12,488.93 crore,” Sinha said.
The financial impact due to understatement of AGR stood at Rs 3,728.54 crore for Reliance Communications, Rs 3215.39 crore for Tata Teleservices, Airtel (Rs 2,651.89 crore), Vodafone (Rs 1,665.39 crore), Idea (Rs 964.89 crore) and Aircel (Rs 262.83 crore), according to the CAG report. Sinha further said, there is a dispute between government and telecom service providers (TSPs) on AGR and TSPs are interpreting the definition differently in their own interest.
“The TSPs are contending that only revenue under the license must be taken for computation of AGR. The License Agreement has an all-inclusive definition of AGR. “The contention of the TSPs is not in consonance with that contained in the License Agreement and the stand of the government has been duly upheld by Hon’ble Apex Court in their considered judgment October 11, 2011,” the minister said. ALSO READ: DoT issues demand-cum-show notices to 6 telcos including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular