Six tele­com com­pa­nies un­der-re­ported rev­enue by over Rs 61,000 crore: CAG

The Northlines - - BUSINESS -

New Delhi:

Pri­vate tele­com op­er­a­tors have un­der­stated rev­enues worth over Rs 61,000 crore from 2010 to 2015, lead­ing to a short­age of pay­ment to ex­che­quer, a re­port by the Comptroller and Au­di­tor Gen­eral re­vealed on Fri­day.

The CAG au­dited six tele­com com­pa­nies — Bharti Air­tel, Voda­fone, Air­cel, Idea, Reliance Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Sis­tema Shyam Te­le­ser­vices Ltd.

The re­port tabled in Par­lia­ment said the com­pa­nies un­der-re­ported their ad­justed gross rev­enue (AGR) by Rs 61,064 crore dur­ing 2010-2015. This re­duced the gov­ern­ment’s earn­ings in the form of spec­trum charges and li­cens­ing by Rs 7,697.6 crore.

The re­port said the un­der­state­ment was due to pro­mo­tional schemes such as free talk time and dis­counts paid to post­paid sub­scribers on roam­ing ser­vices be­sides ac­count­ing ad­just­ments for com­mis­sion or dis­count paid to dis­trib­u­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the net­ting of rev­enue from in­fra­struc­ture shar­ing and non-in­clu­sion of forex gains, in­ter­est in­come and sale of in­vest­ment also led to un­der­stat­ing of rev­enue. An amount of Rs 4,531 crore as in­ter­est aris­ing out of short term pay­ments is also due.

Un­der the New Tele­com Pol­icy, tele­com li­censees are man­dated to share a per­cent­age of their ad­justed gross rev­enue with the gov­ern­ment. Tele­phone op­er­a­tors, in ad­di­tion, were re­quired to pay Spec­trum Us­age Charges to use ra­dio fre­quency spec­trum al­lot­ted to them. “This is not new and this is the re­sult of dif­fer­ence in un­der­stand­ing the def­i­ni­tion of AGR and how it is to be cal­cu­lated... this issue needs to be worked out,” said Ra­jan S Mathews, di­rec­tor gen­eral of Cel­lu­lar Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia.

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