NEW DELHI: India’s official audit regulator, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has raised serious concerns over state-run telecom company BSNL for not having billed private telcos for termination charges on SMS services in few circles, thus accumulated revenue losses.
The CAG which tabled its report in Lok Sabha said the BSNL had signed ‘Addenda to Interconnect Agreement’ for Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) for SMS with three telecom service providers namely Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone without technical arrangement for billing of SMS termination charges.
“Due to non-preservation of SMS data, non-verification and non-reconciliation of bills (claims) received from Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, BSNL was exposed to one-sided liability,” the CAG said.
It also pointed out on M/s Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL) functioning beyond its license obligations. It said Sterlite, which was authorised only to provide infrastructure support to licensees of telecom service providers was functioning beyond the scope of the IP-I (Infrastructure Provider Category-I) registration.
“Though the fact was brought to notice of DoT by TERM (Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring) Cell, Pune, no action was taken against the company even after one year,” the CAG has pointed out.
The CAG also highlighted the case of Controller of Communication Accounts (CCA), Rajasthan Telecom Circle, which allowed subsidy of Rs 71.49 crore on the basis of claims submitted by M/s Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) during 2008-2010.
This it said was done without conducting any check regarding genuineness of Customer Application Forms (CAFs) before disbursement of subsidy.
The CAG also pointed fingers on Department of Posts (DoP)’s management of investment of fund of Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI).
“Management of fund of PLI and RPLI suffered from deficiencies like incorrect assessment of investable funds on daily net accretion basis and also monthly investable fund basis. The delay in investment resulted in loss of potential return to the tune of Rs 984 crore.”
It further said “delay in reinvestment of returns from Government of India Special Security Floating rate Bond (GOISSFRB), non-adherence to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Investment) Regulations and instances of non-availing of Cenvat credit were also noticed.
It also said the DoP did not assess the actual requirement before acquiring and purchasing the plots of land. “It was in possession of 472 vacant freehold plots measuring 6.77 lakh square meters having value of Rs 209.55 crore as of December 2015.
“Failure of the department in taking adequate precautionary measures not only resulted in encroachment but also led to unnecessary litigation which could have been avoided,” the CAG stated.
It also stated that non-realisation of amount of dishonoured cheques by DoP and lack of effective action at Head Post Offices and Divisional Offices in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand Postal Circles resulted in non-realisation of 1,364 dishonoured cheques valued Rs 11.62 crore, which it has received from state governments towards payment of wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).