The Department of Telecom (DoT) will soon issue a notice to Reliance Jio, Telenor, Tata Teleservices, and two more telecom operators to recover the understated revenues of Rs 2,578 crore. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on December 19 red-flagged five telcos on the understatement of revenues.
“The DoT will raise the demand of Rs. 2,578 crore from the five telecom operators as was mentioned by the CAG in its report this month. The demand will be raised after reconciling the accounts,” says a report of Press Trust of India (PTI).
On December 19, the CAG tabled in Parliament said that five telecom operators- Tata Teleservices, Telenor, Videocon Telecom, Quadrant (a Videocon group firm) and Reliance Jio understated the revenues by over Rs 14,800 crores, resulting in a shortfall of close to Rs 2,578 crore to the banks.
In the CAG report earlier, it was said that the government was paid Rs 1015.17 crores less in license fee, Rs 511.53 crore less in spectrum usage, and Rs 1,052.13 crores less as interest on delay in payment.
The report also revealed the short-come from each telecom operator. The government collection from Tata Teleservices is short of Rs 1,893.6 crores, Telenor is short of Rs 603.75 crores, Reliance Jio is short of Rs 6.78 crores, Quadrant is short of Rs 26.62 crores, and Videocon is short of Rs 48.08 crores. These charges are for license fees, and on top of these, other charges such as SUC and interest rates for late payment are also applicable.
“The notices are expected to be sent to telecom operators in January,” further added today’s PTI report.
The CAG revelations were based on the audit of Reliance Jio Infocomm from 2012-13 to 2014-15, Videocon Telecom (2009-10 to 2014-15), Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd from 2010-11 to 2014-15, Quadrant Televentures (2006-07 to 2014- 15), and Telenor (2009-10 to 2014-15).
Out of the five telecom operators who understated the revenues, four operators have stopped their operations. Videocon Telecom, Telenor, and Tata Teleservices sold their mobile businesses to Airtel, and Quadrant has shut down its mobile services in the country.
“CAG observed that telecom operators deducted discounts offered to dealers and customers; free talk time; interest earned from investments and some asset sales from their gross revenue,” added the report.
As per CAG, the above-mentioned things should have part of the adjusted gross revenue (revenue earner from telecom services), which should be used for the calculation of license fee and SUC. CAG also added that the spends are in the nature of marketing, and they cannot be deducted from revenue of government’ share.
CAG found out that Unitech Wireless which merged its operations with Telenor India at a profit of Rs 251.5 crore in 2013-2014 did not include this profit in the government’ share. Also, Tata Teleservices had written off bad debt, which resulted in the understatement of gross revenue by Rs 1,026.01 crores.