New Delhi: The government may ask Russian conglomerate Sistema's Indian telecom venture, SSTL to pay around Rs 463 crore as charges for the one-year period up to February 15, 2013 when it continued operations without valid permits, sources said.
SSTL lost 21 licences after Supreme Court had cancelled a total of 122 telecom licences on February 2, 2012. The apex court had said that telecom companies, whose licences were cancelled, could continue their operations till the time the government completed auctions.
"The due amount has been calculated considering...All the 122 licences have continuing their operation after 2.2.2012 up to 15.02.2013," sources said.
The Department of Telecommunications has calculated provisional liability on all 122 telecom licences amounting to Rs 2,764.29 crore, following order of the apex court, assuming that all licences were operational till February 15, 2013.
According to the provisional charges, liability of Etisalat DB amounts to Rs 605.02 crore, Idea Cellular Rs 162.04 crore, Loop Telecom Rs 389.48 crore, S Tel Rs 17.96 crore, Spice Communications (acquired by Idea Cellular) Rs 108.9 crore, Tata Teleservices Rs 3.22 crore, Uninor Rs 513.4 crore and Videocon Telecommunications Rs 501.11 crore.
On February 15, 2013, the apex court asked telecom companies, who did not win spectrum in November 2012 auction, to close their operations.
The court has directed to fix separate liability on companies who discontinued their services following cancellation of their permits.
In March 2013, SSTL announced it won spectrum in the 800 MHz band in eight circles, including Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh (West).
Most of these companies, except SSTL, closed or scaled down their operations before February 15, 2013 and hence the provisional demand, sources said will "further need confirmation of period of operation and quantum of spectrum to be charged".
Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL) is a venture, involving equity participation by Sistema of Russia, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Shyam Group of India. Sistema is the majority shareholder in the joint venture company, which operates its telecom services under the MTS brand.