Millennium Post

DoT sets upper penalty limit for violating telecom firms

The DoT has said the upper limit of penalty for violation of guidelines by telecom companies will be Rs 50 crore in the new licensing regime, while regulator TRAI's recommendation was Rs 10 crore.

'The upper limit of penalty for violation of licence conditions will be Rs 50 crore per service area in each case,' DoT said in guidelines [Notice Inviting Applications] for unified licences that will be issued to new telecom companies.

The TRAI had recommended that the upper limit of penalty should be Rs 10 crore instead of Rs 50 crore under old licensing regime.

The DoT Notice Inviting Applications does not include TRAI's another recommendation either - categorising violations into major and minor.

For minor violations, TRAI had proposed penalty in the range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. For major penalty, TRAI has proposed penalty in the range of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 10 crore.

DoT has also not accepted TRAI's recommendation of three levels of unified licence and has only made provision for licences at telecom service area level.

Telecom companies whose licences have been cancelled by the Supreme Court and new companies will have to pay one time, non-refundable entry fee Rs 1 crore for unified licences for each of the 22 telecom service area, except for Jammu and Kashmir and North East Service Areas where entry fee shall be Rs 50 lakh each, according to the Notice Inviting Applications.

DoT said in addition to the one time non-refundable entry fee, 'Annual licence fee as a percentage of AGR [Adjusted Gross Revenue] will be payable as per the rates specified by DoT.'
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