Govt has raised demand of Rs 1,846 cr from 5 telcos: Deora

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The government has raised a demand of Rs 1,846.51 crore from five telecom companies based on a special audit for two consecutive assessment years starting 2006-07, Parliament was informed today.

"On the basis of special audit reports of five telecom group companies, the Department had raised the demand of Rs 1,846.51 crore (Rs 896.05 crore principal and Rs 950.46 crore as interest up to November 2012 and February 2013," Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The companies are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Teleservices, and Reliance Communications, he said.

All the companies have obtained stay orders from High Courts of Kerala, Madras and Guwahati as well as Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against enforcement of the said demands, he said.

The Minister also said government proposes to get their accounts audited from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

He said the government while making the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India service providers rules 2002, also provided for audit of the book of accounts of the licencee companies by the CAG to secure an effective check on the assessment and proper collection of revenue.

This provision was challenged by the two main associations of telecom service providers and some individual licencees before the High Court of Delhi, which has since been dismissed and the provisions for audit of the revenues of telecom operators by CAG has been upheld.

"The associations and telecom service providers have filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court against the said order and the matter is subjudice," Deora added.

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