Rs 1,733 cr penalty on telcos for failing in user verification
New Delhi: Telecom Department has imposed penalties of Rs 1,733.44 crore and lodged police complaints in some cases on service providers for issuing mobile phone connections without proper verification.
"Total penalty imposed on service providers against non-compliant cases found in monthly audit in respect of last three years and the current year, since January 1, 2009, is Rs 1,733 crore," Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued instructions to the operators on verifying identity of the customers. The Telecom Enforcement Resource Monitoring Cells of DoT carries out monthly sample audit of Customer Application Forms (CAFs).
"During audit, it is found that some of the subscribers have been enrolled by mobile service providers without proper verification of identity," Deora said.
Deora said police complaints have also been lodged wherever DoT has found that mobile connections were issued on the basis of fake documents.
New telecom operators Sistema Shyam and Uninor, whose telecom licences have been cancelled by the Supreme Court, have reported 100 percent compliance during the audit in 2012 calendar year.
However, total penalty imposed on the two operators due to improper verification of new subscribers over the three-year period is Rs 10.98 crore and Rs 2.59 crore respectively.
BSNL has been found least compliant followed by Reliance Communications in 2012.
The audit found 95.16 percent of BSNL and 95.78 percent cases of RCom were issued in compliance with DoT norms. Over the period of three years, DoT has imposed penalty of Rs 261.95 crore on BSNL and Rs 463.61 crore on RCom which is the highest penalty amount imposed on a service provider.
DoT has imposed Rs 373.8 crore penalty on Bharti Airtel, Rs 167.64 crore on Aircel (including Dishnet), Rs 155.18 crore on Vodafone, Rs 108.99 crore on Tata Teleservices, Rs 89.69 crore on Reliance Telecom and Rs 79.16 crore on Idea Cellular.
Compliance of MTNL, HFCL (including QTL), Spice Telecom (excludes Idea), Etisalat during 2012 was not ascertained as audit of their CAFs was in progress.
Loop/BPL has attracted least penalty of Rs 15 lakh during the same period.
Penalty of less than a crore has been imposed on Etisalat, STel and Videocon Telecom.