Millennium Post

Govt gets Rs 28,837 cr from telecom operators

The government has received Rs 28,837.28 crore as licence fee from telecom operators between 2009-10 and the first quarter of 2012-13, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said on Thursday.

‘Bharti Airtel paid Rs 8,182.63 crore as licence fee during the last three years and the first quarter of 2012-13, while Vodafone and Idea Cellular paid Rs 5,572.31 crore and Rs 2,800.17 crore in the same period, respectively,’ Sibal said.

State-run BSNL paid Rs 4,504.32 crore as licence fee, while MTNL paid Rs 988.07 crore between 2009-10 and the first quarter of 2012-13, he added. The licence fee earned in 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and the first quarter of 2012-13 stood at Rs 8,440.85 crore, Rs 8,658.45 crore, Rs 9,359.61 crore and Rs 2,378.37, respectively.

The minister said the government is likely to earn revenue of Rs 12,381.82 crore in licence fee, while Rs 5,126 crore is the budget estimate as spectrum charges in fiscal 2012-13. The telecom operators in the country paid Rs 12,660.68 crore as spectrum charges to the government during the same period.

‘While GSM operators paid Rs 11,476.98 crore as spectrum charges between 2009-10 and the first quarter of 2012-13, CDMA operators paid Rs 1,183.7 crore in the same period,’ the minister said.

Five operators – Etisalat DB, S Tel, Loop Telecom, Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Videocon Telecom –defaulted on paying their licence fees, which added up to Rs 86.53 crore between 2009-10 and 2011-12, Sibal said. ‘S Tel did not pay the demand and consequently the government issued orders for the invocation of its bank guarantee. The operator challenged the same in the TDSAT and got an interim stay. The matter is currently sub-judice,’ he said.

Loop Telecom did not pay the demand and its bank guarantee has been encashed to realise the dues, while Etisalat DB, SSTL and Videocon have represented against the demand, he added.

‘Showcause notices have been issued to Allianze Infotech, SSTL, Etisalat, S Tel, Loop Telecom and Videocon for not paying licence fee for the first quarter of the current financial year on self-assessment basis,’ Sibal said.
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