The department of telecommunications, or DoT, is considering extending the period of special audits for five telecom service providers to include fiscal year 2008-09, according to officials familiar with the development.
Earlier this year, DoT ordered special audits of accounts for 2006-07 and 2007-08 for Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance Communication Ltd (RCom), Idea Cellular Ltd, Vodafone Essar Ltd and Tata Teleservices Ltd.
Beleaguered: On Monday, RCom was accused by a government-appointed auditor of under-reporting revenue to save on licence fees. Hemant Mishra / Mint
In June, Bharti Airtel, India’s biggest mobile phone company by subscribers, voluntarily offered its fiscal year 2009 accounts as well for the special audit, a request that DoT did not initially agree to.
The department is now considering extending the audit once the evaluation of all the reports is completed, the officials mentioned earlier said.
The exercise is expected to take till the year-end, they added. A final decision on including audits for 2008-09 will be taken after consulting the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or Trai. “We may consider the extension of the audit once the current phase is over,” the officials said.
On Monday, RCom was accused by a government-appointed auditor of under-reporting revenue to save on licence fees and inflating numbers to the stock exchanges.
Officials said RCom will be given a copy of the report so it can respond to the findings. Other authorities such as Trai will also be given a copy of the audit report and asked to comment and take whatever action is required.
RCom’s statutory auditors—KPMG and Chaturvedi and Shah—will also be asked for their response.