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Bharti Airtel Ltd May Face INR6.5 Billion Penalty-Business Standard


Wednesday, 29 May 2013 09:52am EDT 

Business Standard reported that Bharti Airtel Ltd is likely to face a penalty of INR6.5 billionfor allegedly violating licence terms on the Subscriber Local Dialing (SLD) services. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has approved the recommendations of a committee of the DoT which had suggested a penalty of INR500 million each for 13 telecom circles where the Company has violated the licence terms, according to a recent discussion. The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal has also approved the recommendation of the DoT Committee, stating that the maximum permissible financial penalty of INR500 million each for 13 Unified Access Service (UAS) licences where the violations took place may be imposed on Bharti Airtel. When contacted, a Bharti Airtel spokesperson declined to comment on the issue, saying that the company is yet to receive any notice from DoT. The minister, in a recent communication, has also stated that the Government should also recover the loss incurred to national exchequer in the form of licence fee and spectrum charges because of the SLD service of Bharti. The company may also be asked to provide the call detail records (CDRs) of all the calls in respect of its SLD service. The DoT Committee had, in its recommendations, noted that Bharti Airtel has violated the national long-distance (NLD)/international long distance (ILD) licence conditions in 13 circles between 2000 and 2005.