Notices to five telcos for under-stating revenue

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) The department of telecom (DoT) Tuesday issued showcause notices to five firms — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices — for under-stating revenues from 2006 to 2008, resulting in a lower licence fee payout to the government.

The firms have been given 21 days’ time to respond to the notice, said a senior executive of one of the companies.
The total payout from all the companies to the government is said to be around Rs.800 crore. The amount to be paid by individual operators could not be verified.
In 2009, the government had called for an external audit on all these operators to ensure accuracy of revenues stated by them for the period of 2006-07 and 2007-08.
The companies pay 6-10 percent of their annual revenue as license fee and 2-6 percent as spectrum usage charges. Under-stating the revenue brings down the amount the operators are supposed to pay to the government.
When contacted, Vodafone India said it was confident that there was no additional fee liability for the period under audit.