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GSM operators owe government Rs451 crore

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Communications (RCom) and other GSM telephone operators owe government over Rs451 crore in license fee and spectrum charges, reports PTI.

"The total amount outstanding including interest against GSM operators as on 31 March, 2010 is Rs451.74 crore," minister of state for communications and IT Sachin Pilot said replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour.

Bharti Airtel owes the highest amount of Rs135.11 crore in spectrum charges and another Rs0.44 crore in license fee dues. Vodafone had an outstanding of Rs71.77 crore towards spectrum charges while RCom owes Rs48.54 crore towards license fee.

Mr Pilot said the operators have challenged the basis of calculations of the dues and the matter is currently sub-judice.

The matter is in the Supreme Court, which has fixed the next date of hearing on 11th August.

Under the revenue sharing model, dues are calculated based on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of the companies. "Certain operators have questioned the definition of AGR," he said.

BPL Mobile Communications owns Rs29 crore in license fee dues, Aircel Rs0.44 crore, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Rs94.44 crore, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) Rs0.73 crore and Dishnet Wireless Rs13.91 crore.

Besides, MTNL owes Rs16.49 crore in spectrum charges, BPL Cellular Rs10.83 crore, Ideal Cellular Rs7.07 crore, Reliance Telecom Rs4.03 crore, Aircel Cellular Rs0.9 crore, Dishnet Wireless Rs0.15 crore, Etisalat Rs0.11 crore and Unitech Rs0.06 crore, he said.

The government, he said, has so far collected Rs70,000 crore from telecom operators in license and spectrum fee.
 

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