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Telcos owe Rs 10,700 cr to Govt: Telecom Min

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V&D Bureau
New Update

Telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, need to pay Rs 10,700 crore to the government as penalties imposed on them, but the Center has received Rs 450 crore only so far.

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The penalties since 2011-12 are for a number of violations related to licensing, radiation and roaming.

"The difference in amount of penalty imposed and realized is primarily due to judicial interventions," telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha.

The minister indicated that the meager realization is due to operators resorting to legal interventions for penalties.

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The total penalties stood at Rs 1,133 crore in 2011-12, while the realized amount was Rs 206 crore. In 2012-13 the penalties were at Rs 719 crore, while the realized amount was Rs 108 crore, while in 2013-14, the total penalties were at Rs 7,923 crore, the realized amount was only Rs 128 crore. So far in the current fiscal, Rs 946 crore have been levied so far, while the realization is Rs 4 crore.

Operators have been complaining of stringent rules imposed on them by the government even for minor offences.

The previous government and other industry bodies have favored the operators, saying the penalties are excessive and absurd.

As a result, the Department of Telecom is looking to review the penalty scheme. "The new penalty structure will lead to creation of different categories for various types of offences. The idea is to have different levels of penalties to make sure that the maximum penalty is not levied in all the cases but only for major offences," media reports said quoting a senior DoT official.

 

 

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