Rs 110-Crore Demand Notice Issued To Bharti Airtel, 5 Others: Report


New Delhi: The Department of Telecom has slapped a demand notice of over Rs 100 crore on six telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone, to recover the first tranche of their dues to the government because of under-reporting of revenues.

Acting on a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that said the six telecom companies under-reported Rs 46,045.75 crore of revenue in 2006-10 to cause a loss of Rs 12,488.93 crore to the exchequer, the DoT on Monday started issuing notices to recover the dues.

To begin with, it is sending year-wise recovery notices for each of the 22 telecom circles or areas in the country. In the first lot, notices for under-reporting revenue and causing loss of exchequer in the Delhi circle have been sent, DoT officials said.

The entire exercise for all the 22 circles and all the years may take at least a couple of weeks, they said.

“We are issuing operator and year-wise notice for respective circles. First set of notices has been issued to six telecom operators for recovery. It will be around Rs 100-110 crore. I may not be able share to exact amount,” an official source told PTI.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report tabled in Parliament in March said these six companies – RCom, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and Aircel – under-reported their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) by Rs 46,045.75 crore from 2006 to 2010.

This under-reporting of revenue is estimated to have led to a loss of Rs 12,488.93 crore to the exchequer.

As per the official, notice has been issued for under-reporting of revenue in 2007-08 and gradually other demand notices will be sent.

Another official at DoT said the CAG tabled its report in March, but details were shared with the Telecom Ministry in June.

“We expect to send all demand notices by the end of August. CAG has audited books of telecom operators as it has more access to their records compared to DoT. DoT has already raised demand for most of the heads. Now, the department is looking at CAG documents and comparing the amount that is left to be recovered,” the official said.

Earlier this month, DoT came out with a statement saying it had received the key documents scrutinised by CAG in mid-June 2016.

“These are being vigorously examined and the process of issue of demands for the four financial years for six operators in 22 licence service areas in consonance with the licence agreement is currently ongoing,” DoT had stated.

The demand raised from the exercise would be recovered with due interest and penalty as applicable under licence agreements, DoT had said.