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(Briefing Paper No.3/2007)
Bharti, TATA comm. come under DOT scanner
The Hindu Business Line, Saturday, September 06, 2008
The Department of Telecom may impose a penalty on Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications (formerly VSNL) for allegedly violating long distance licence norms. While Bharti Airtel was found to have set up its gateways in Delhi and Chennai without proper clearances from the Government, Tata Communication has been hauled up for offering variable tariffs for its international leased line service. The DoT has set up an internal committee to figure out the quantum of the penalty.
“The committee shall recommend as to what should be the amount of penalty to be imposed on licence companies for various cases of violations of terms and conditions of the national long distance and international long distance licence commensurate with damage suffered by the Government in view of various aspects including national security,” said a DoT source. The recommendations of the committee, headed by the Additional Secretary of the DoT, will also be considered for any violations in the future.
This is not the first time long distance operators have come under DoT’s scanner. DoT had earlier issued show cause notices for various violations by operators including employing a foreign national without approval of Ministry of Home Affairs, failing to check the bona fide use and to detect any misuse of the services and provisioning of ISD services without clearance of security monitoring equipment. Long distance operators were also found to be routing calls through illegal channels to avoid paying Government levies and charges. Some of the operators’ networks were being used by illegal exchange operators to route grey calls.