DoT asks 5 telecos to give accounting info to CAG

DoT asks 5 telecos to give accounting info to CAG

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday asked five telecom operators, including state-run BSNL, to give their accounting details for three years from 2006-07 to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the apex audit body, had earlier decided to audit accounts of five telecos -- Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Tata, Vodafone and BSNL.

According to official sources, the Department of Telecom (DoT) in a letter to all these five companies asked to furnish certain documents to CAG from 2006-07 to 2008-09.

Sources said even though for 2007 and 2008 fiscal, special audit have already taken place recently of the four private telecom companies, CAG is keen on redoing the audit for these years again and also as it is not satisfied with the special audit result.

So far auditors, who ironically are also appointed by CAG, only have submitted reports on Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications, while for Vodafone Essar and Tata Teleservcies it is still going on.

DoT has asked the companies to give service-wise revenues, other sources of income, supplementary and support income, total cost of operation and operational expenses.

Sources said telecom regulator Trai has already appointed a nodal officer to facilitate this audit exercise.

The audit is aimed at giving a reasonable assurance to the government on the revenue share from the licencees, sources said, adding the DoT letter is that of a communication to the telecos seeking their cooperation with CAG in supplying documents.

As per a Department of Telecom notification in 2002, operators must give all statements, including financial statements to Trai to calculate the licence fee to be paid to the government. And the regulator will act as a facilitator as and when CAG decides to audit the accounts of the telecos.

The case for auditing came into picture after Reliance Communications was alleged to have under-reported revenues to avoid paying licence fees to the government. Later special audit was ordered for other three private telecom companies as well.

Out of that, auditors have submitted RCom and Bharti Airtel’s audit. Bharti is said to have steered clear of any such evasion.