Govt may penalize telcos failing to meet roll-out obligations

Govt may penalize telcos failing to meet roll-out obligations

New Delhi: Government may charge erring telecom firms a maximum of up to Rs7 crore as liquidated damages for failing to meet the roll-out obligations as per licence terms and conditions.

Telecom minister Kapil Sibal informed the Lok Sabha on Monday, “to cover the losses, if any, to the government due to delay in roll out, provision of liquidated damages exists in the UAS license agreement."

As per the agreement, the department of telecom (DoT) will be entitled to recover the charges at Rs5 lakh per week for the first 13 weeks, Rs10 lakh for the next 13 weeks and thereafter Rs20 lakh for 26 weeks, subject to a maximum of Rs7 crore, he added.

Telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had suggested cancellation of about 69 licences for failing to meet roll-out obligations.

To another query, minister of state for communications and IT Sachin Pilot said that BSNL employee association has alleged cartelization of leading telecom gear manufacturers, wrecking havoc on BSNL growth.

He added, however, that as far as the tendering process of BSNL for purchase of equipment is concerned, “timely procurement of equipments is the responsibility of the BSNL and government does not interfere with the same."