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Airtel, Vodafone, TTSL, Idea and RCOM come under DoT's scanner for misreporting revenues

January 31, 2012
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After the 3G roaming agreements issue, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL), Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications Limited (RCOM) have come under the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) scanner once again.

DoT has alleged that these operators misreported their revenues and hence paid lower revenue share during 2006-07 and 2007-08. So, DoT has reportedly requested Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and IT, for approval to issue show-cause notices to these operators in this context.

DoT also plans to recover Rs 8.23 billion from these operators, once Sibal gives it the go-ahead.

DoT has made a presentation to Sibal highlighting the irregularities found in the companies’ books. For example, the operators had allegedly not reported Rs 102.68 billion in revenues to the government under various categories of income. DoT also stated that the operators were reporting more revenue in segments that carried lower licence fees.

Further, these companies allegedly did not include the income obtained from the sale of assets such as towers, networks and switches and handsets. Also, DoT has argued that gains from foreign exchange variations, miscellaneous income as well as that from extraordinary income must be added to the total revenues of mobile phone companies, and licence fee and spectrum usage levies be paid on the same.

Net, net, if discrepancies are uncovered in the operators’ books, Reliance Communications may be asked to pay about Rs 3.10 billion, Bharti Airtel may have to pay Rs 1.61 billion, Vodafone India may be asked to pay Rs 1.07 billion, TTSL may have to pay Rs 1.79 billion and Idea Cellular, Rs 640 million.

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