No BSNL-MTNL consortium yet for buying Kuwaiti telco

No BSNL-MTNL consortium yet for buying Kuwaiti telco New Delhi: The state-run telecom companies--BSNL and MTNL-- have not formed any consortium so far with any other company to bid for Kuwaiti telecom major Zain Telecom, Minister of State for IT and telecom Gurudas Kamat told the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Monday.

The New Delhi-based Vavasi Group had approached BSNL and MTNL as partners to form a consortium for buying stake in Zain.

To a question whether some private telcos are causing losses to the government by under-reporting earnings, Kamat replied in the negative, saying, "The department reconciles the revenues reported by companies with their annual audited published accounts to ensure that the government revenues are collected as per licence terms including applicable interest and penalty."

He said the government also has no information to suggest that companies are exaggerating subscriber figures. Kamat said up to October 2009, the government disbursed Rs 1,635.53 crore for Universal Service Obligation (USO) by the telecom companies. The targeted allotment for the current fiscal is Rs 2,400 crore, he said.

The USO is a levy collected from the telecom service providers to raise resources for offering telecom services in rural and remote areas.