The government has proposed a penalty of over Rs 41 crore on Tatas, Rs 31 crore on Airtel and Rs 19.65 crore on RCom and others, totalling Rs 135.60 crore, for not rolling out network on time.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) has lowered the total quantum of penalty from Rs 477 crore decided earlier to Rs 135.60 crore after repeated representations by the operators, giving a major benefit to all big private telecom players.
As per the latest calculation sheet, the revised liquidated damages is Rs 135.60 crore and almost all private players except Vodafone-Essar face penalties.
Other than Tatas, Airtel and RCom, Aircel faces a penalty of Rs 28.85 crore, HFCL has a liquidated damages of Rs seven crore and the two PSUs -BSNL and MTNL along with Vodafone-Essar face no penalty.
“The cases for imposition of liquidated damages were processed since 2005 and show-cause notices for imposition of liquidated damages (amounting to Rs 477.15 crore) were issued in 96 cases to 10 operators,” highly placed sources said.
There were representations from industry pointing out delays in statutory clearances, grant of spectrum for access, among other factors, for delayed rollouts. Thus, it was decided to revisit the subject and DoT has arrived at revised lower penalty for these operators.