India demands unpaid licence, spectrum fees

10 Aug 2016

The Indian government has issued demands to six cellcos relating to underpaid spectrum and licence fees during the four financial years 2006/07-2009/10, following a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) earlier this year. The Economic Times cites finance minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar as saying in a note to the upper house, the Rayja Sabha, that the operators had under-reported revenues during the four-year period to the tune of INR460.45 billion (USD6.88 billion), leading to a shortfall in licence fees, spectrum usage charges (SUC) and interest (up to March 2015) totalling INR72.76 billion. The six cellcos in question were Reliance Communications (RCOM), Tata Teleservices (TTSL), Vodafone India, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Aircel.

‘The government has issued regular demands for all the four financial years and special audit demands for two financial years 2006/07 and 2007/08. These demands overlap the short falls pointed out in the CAG report,’ the official said, adding: ‘On the basis of special audit demands of INR18.47 billion and INR11.19 billion as license fees and spectrum usage charges were raised. These demands are subjudice.’