Govt collects Rs 300 cr in penalties from new operators

The government has collected over Rs 300 crore in penalties from new telecom service providers that failed to roll-out their networks within the stipulated timeframe after getting licences and spectrum.

Updated: Mar 02, 2011, 15:31 PM IST

New Delhi: The government has collected over
Rs 300 crore in penalties from new telecom service providers that failed to roll-out their networks within the stipulated timeframe after getting licences and spectrum.

"As of last Friday, we have received Rs 300.04 crore
penalties, as against total claim of Rs 370.55 crore,"

Department of Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar told.

The DoT had issued 119 notices to new telecom operators
for missing their network roll-out obligations last month and
imposed hefty penalties on them.

As per the conditions of the licences, the licencees were
required to roll-out their services in 90 per cent of service
areas in metros and 10 per cent in district headquarters
within 12 months (52 weeks) from the date of award of licence.
The operators were supposed to pay the penalty for
missing roll-out obligations within 15 days of the notice, but
some of these companies had moved the Telecom Disputes
Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) over the DoT`s move.

TDSAT had subsequently asked Uninor, Aircel subsidiary
Dishnet Wireless and Videocon Telecom to pay a part of the
penalty imposed on them for missing their roll-out
obligations.

TDSAT`s interim order followed a plea from Videocon
challenging the demand notice issued by the DoT, which sought
liquidated damages (LD) over the telecom firm`s failure to
roll out services within the stipulated period of one year
after the grant of licence.

As per the conditions of the Unified Access Service
Licence (UASL), the telcos were required to roll-out their
networks within one year from the date of allocation of
spectrum.

In case the new licencees failed to roll-out services
within the stipulated period, the DoT was entitled to impose
LD on the operators, or even cancel their licences, as per the
agreement.

PTI