Five private Indian telecom companies understated their revenues by Rs 14,813 crore and paid the government Rs 2,578 crore less in revenues, the Comptroller and Auditor General said in a report it tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
The CAG report said the shortfall in payment by the five companies – Tata Teleservices, Telenor, Videocon Telecom, Qaudrant (a Videocon Group firm) and Reliance Jio – included Rs 1,015.17 crore less in government licence fee, Rs 511.53 crore in spectrum usage charges and Rs 1,052.13 crore as interest on the delayed payment.
Under the New Telecom Policy that came into effect in April 1999, private sector operators need to share a portion of their revenue with the government as an annual license fee. This is in addition to paying to use the radio frequency spectrum allotted to them.
The CAG findings are based on an audit of the five companies till 2014-’15. While Reliance Jio commercially launched only in 2016, it figures in the CAG report as it existed earlier under a different name and bought spectrum.