Indian telcos accused of under-reporting revenue

telecomasia.net

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has accused six of the nation's operators of under-reporting revenue over a five year period, costing the exchequer 124.89 billion rupees ($1.89 billion).

In a report tabled in Parliament, CAG said Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Idea and Aircel under-reported adjusted gross revenue by a combined 460.46 billion rupees, the Financial Times reported.

The alleged under-reporting relates to various factors, including discounts and waivers granted to postpaid subscribers and under-invoicing of roaming revenue due to inter-operator traffic discounts.

CAG also found that adjustment of a one-time market entry fee paid by operators whose telecom licenses were subsequently quashed by the Supreme Court during the spectrum scandal of 2010 cost the exchequer 54.76 billion rupees.

Indian Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has pledged to order a special audit of the operators' results for a three year period between 2009 and 2011.

But local telecom industry bodies COAI and AUSPI have asserted that many of the issues pointed out by CAG pertain to the calculation of license fees under litigation, which have either been settled or stayed by various courts.

The bodies insisted that its members follow the highest standards of corporate governance and are in compliance with all regulations.

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