Tata Communications under-reported gross revenue between 2006-07 and 2017-18, leading to a drop of Rs 645 million in license fee collection during the period, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (GAC) said in a report on Monday. The CAG, in the report, also said the amount is to be recovered from Tata Communications Ltd. (TCL).
“The audit review of the auditees IGA Statements referring to profit and loss accounts and balance sheets for TCL’s NLD, ILD and ISP-IT licenses for the period 2006-07 to 2017-18 revealed that there was an under-reporting of gross revenue (GR) by Rs 13,252.81 crore and consequent short drawdown of LF of Rs 950.25 crore,” he said.
According to the CAG report, the Telecommunications Department only levied Rs 305.25 crore as license fee (LF) from the company.
“After deducting the DoT’s assessment of LF of Rs 305.25 crore, the license fee demanded from TCL by the DoT was short of Rs 645 crore for the said period, which is to be demanded and recovered,” the report said.
“Given the minimum AGR rate of 0.15% for spectrum fees, the estimated revenue lost on a very conservative basis was Rs 67.53 crore for spectrum fees for an E-band operator and V and the expected annual income was Rs 3.30 Crore for a Circle only based on the average TGA (Adjusted Gross Income) reported by TSP (telecommunications service providers) for the year 2020-21,” he added.
The E and V bands are expected to correspond to a data transmission speed equivalent to optical fiber and are in high demand by telecommunications operators to accelerate the deployment of telecommunications services.
The CAG said the estimated revenue shortfall due to the delay in the allocation of E- and V-band spectrum is “only an indicative figure and the actual expected revenue could be higher depending on the number and the bandwidth of operators allocated to users”.
“The DoT can make a quick decision in consultation with TRAI on spectrum allocation/allocation for microwave access and backhaul network in E-band and V-band to provide support for mobile communications, ISP service providers and for efficient deployment of 5G services,” the report states.
The Cabinet in June approved the partial allocation of E-band spectrum to telecom service providers to meet backhaul demand from telecom operators.