Monday, December 7, 2009

Govt to take action against RCom for reporting less revenue

The government today said in the Lok Sabha that a special audit has observed that Reliance Communication and its other subsidiaries under reported revenues during 2006-07 and 2007-08.

There was an under reporting of Rs 1000 crore to Rs 1500 crore by the telecom firms, to avoid payment of licence fee, and the government may have lost about Rs 250 crore due to this, Telecom Minister A Raja said during Question Hour.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had appointed special auditors to look into financial accounts of five leading telecom companies for allegedly indulging in fudging of accounts and under-reporting of revenue to the telecom regulator TRAI during 2006-07 and 2007-08 to avoid payment of licence fee.

Out of five auditors the one for RCom has submitted the report, the Minister said.

"The auditor has observed that three companies -- RCom, Reliance Telecom and Reliance Communications Infrastructure Ltd (all belonging to Anil Ambani group) -- under reported their revenues to the TRAI during 2006-07 and 2007-08," the minister said.

The observations are under examination of the DoT, he said adding whatever action is needed, it would be taken by the end of January next year.

A committee, headed by Member (Finance), DoT is looking into the nearly 900-page report.

Raja said the DoT shall raise additional demands including interest and penalty, as per licence terms, on the concerned licencees (RCom and others), after examination of special auditor's report.

Replying to a supplementary, Minister of State for Telecom Sachin Pilot said another case has been reported that a private internet service provider Tikona Private Limited was using wireless broadband even as the operator has not been assigned any spectrum.

"This is being examined by the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing of the Telecom Ministry," he added.

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