Department of Telecom has asked six telecom companies - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Group, Tata Teleservices, Aircel - to furnish reason for under-reporting revenues amounting to Rs 29,474 crore, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
“Department of Telecom has issued demand-cum-show cause notices to six private telecom companies on the basis of C&AG Report No 4 of 2016, for four financial years ie 2006-07 to 2009-10 for a total amount of Rs 29,474 crore on account of licence fee (LF),” telecom minister Manoj Sinha on Wednesday said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
This includes Rs 6,490 crore of LF, Rs 13,751 crore in interest, Rs 3,178 crore of penalty and Rs 6,055 crore for interest on penalty from the six operators, he added.
“The figure of Rs 6,490 crore is the revised LF demand which includes Rs 3,794 crore of LF demand already raised by DoT on account of Regular and Special Audit Demands,” he said.
The notice has sought Rs 8,162 crore from Bharti Airtel, Rs 7,701 crore from Reliance Group, Rs 5,718 crore from Tata Teleservices, Rs 4,695 crore from Vodafone, Rs 2,708 crore from Idea Cellular and Rs 490 crore from Aircel.
The LF is calculated as a percentage of Adjusted Gross Revenue. The definition of AGR is under litigation since 2003. The matter is presently pending in the Supreme Court.
As per orders of the SC, DoT has been barred from taking any coercive step to recover the dues.
“One of the telecom service providers ie Reliance Communications Ltd has challenged these demands in Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) vide petition no. 71 of 2016. Matter is pending in TDSAT,” he said.