Telecom companies owe nearly Rs. 40,000 cr to government

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bsnlNEW DELHI, August 15;Telecom service providers owe the Government a whopping over Rs. 39,800 crore in terms of outstanding amount for spectrum usage charges, license fees, penalties and interest, Minister of State for Telecom and IT Milind Deora has said.

Public sector telecom operator BSNL owes the Government the maximum amount both in terms of total outstanding spectrum charges (Rs. 6,979.59 crore) and total outstanding license fee, including interest and penalties (Rs 3,044.91 crore), as per the official data.

Mr. Deora said notices have been issued to the telecom service providers after completion of assessment to recover outstanding dues.

BSNL is followed by the country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, which owes the Government Rs. 6,075.28 crore as spectrum charges and Rs. 2,803.50 crore as license fee, including interest and penalties.

Vodafone and Idea owe Rs. 4,477.19 crore and Rs. 2,206.09 crore as spectrum charges, respectively, while their outstanding in terms of license fee, including interest and penalties, stood at Rs. 459.50 crore and Rs. 425.93 crore.

On the other hand, CDMA services provider Reliance Communication and Tata Teleservices owe Rs. 2,004.35 crore and Rs. 1,400.43 crore as spectrum charges, respectively. In terms of license fee, including interest and penalties, Reliance Communication’s outstanding stood at Rs. 1,861.07 crore, while that of Tata Teleservices stood at Rs. 354.31 crore.

The Minister, while replying to a query in the Lok Sabha, said that the Department of Telecom (DoT) was not considering any proposal to reduce penalties on erring service providers.

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