DoT sends notices to Uninor, Loop
The telecom ministry today issued show-cause notices to some of the new operators, which are alleged to have suppressed information to get licences and have also failed to roll out services as mandated.india Updated: Dec 14, 2010 20:16 IST
The telecom ministry on Tuesday issued show-cause notices to some of the new operators, which are alleged to have suppressed information to get licences and have also failed to roll out services as mandated.
Uninor, a joint venture between Indian real estate major Unitech and Norway's Telenor, Loop Telecom and Swan Telecom are among the operators to whom notices have been sent asking them to explain why their licences should not be cancelled.
The government's initiative comes in the wake of CAG's report which said that 85 of the 122 licencees, issued in 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja, were ineligible and should be cancelled.
CAG has quantified revenue loss to the exchequer at Rs 1.76 lakh crore for giving licences and 2G spectrum at 2001 price of Rs 1,651 crore for pan-India operations.
Besides, telecom regulator TRAI also recommended cancellation of about 69 licences for missing roll-out obligations as mandated by the licences.
When contacted, Uninor spokesperson confirmed receipt of the notice and said the company would respond with all the necessary information.
A spokerperson of Uninor, which claims to have over 16 million subscribers, said. "We welcome the DoT's intent to bring in transparency, justice and equity through this structured approach and will certainly present our case within the stipulated time in response to the notice we have received."
Sources also confirmed that Loop telecom has been served notice seeking company's response both for submitting wrong information as well as for not rolling out services within timeframe.
Swan Telecom (Etisalat DB)in which UAE-based Etisalat has 45 per cent stake has also been served notice, but the company spokesperson could not be contacted for confirmation.
The telecom ministry started sending notices yestrday and is expected to complete the process by this week-end.
The telecom firms would be given 60 days, from the date of receipt of notice, to respond to the government.
New Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had said recently that a final decision would be taken once the service providers submitted their reponses.
Other telecom operators, who were issued licences in 2008, are S Tel, Datacom (now Videocon), Sistema Shyam and Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices under dual technology licences.
Among the new operators, Sistema-Shyam was the only service provider to have opted for CDMA spectrum while all other had got GSM frequency to offer mobile services.