The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to go ahead and start issuing show-cause notices to telecom operators, starting Monday, asking why action should not be taken against them for non-payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues within the stipulated timeframe.
According to official sources, a financial penalty can be imposed on operators for not complying with its order to make payments by midnight of February 14, the day the Supreme Court expressed its displeasure over the companies not making any payment by January 23. It even pulled up the DoT for issuing orders to its field offices for not taking any coercive action against the companies for not making the payment.
Contempt proceedings have been initiated on the matter against the DoT and the telecom operators, and the next date of hearing on the matter is March 17.
Following a hard rap on February 14, all the field offices of DoT had issued notices to telecom operators to make immediate payments by midnight. However, no telecom operator has made the payment so far, though they have indicated that they would do so before March 17. Still, the offices are expected to send the compliance report to DoT headquarters on Monday and seek instructions for the next course of action.
The notices issued by the controller general of communication accounts of all telecom circles, clearly stated that in case of non-payment, action will be taken as per the licence agreement.
According to officials, a penalty can be imposed on operators for non-compliance and notices issued asking why their licences should not be cancelled. —FE
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