Telecom firms fined Rs.2,179.41 crore for non-verification: Prasad

Telecom firms fined Rs.2,179.41 crore for non-verification: Prasad

A total penalty of Rs.2,179.41 crore was imposed on telecom service providers till Sep 30 for violation of customer verification guidelines, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday told parliament.

"A total penalty of about Rs 2,179.41 crore has been imposed since the inception till September 30, 2014 on telecom operators for violations of verification guidelines," the minister said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

He said the department of telecom has issued instructions Aug 9, 2012 on subscriber verification.

"The verification of identity of mobile phone users is mandatory and the DoT has been issuing instructions from time to time for verification of mobile phone users.

"These instructions contain procedures for verification of identity of mobile subscribers which stipulate that mobile connection should be issued on the basis of documents as proof of identity and proof of address," he said.

The list of applicable documents as proof of identity and proof of address in the country except in Jammu and Kashmir, northeast and Assam service areas are: passport, arms license, driving licence, Election Commission ID card, income tax PAN card and many more.

The department has found from the audit of customer application forms (CAF) that only about four percent of CAF were non-complaint to the subscriber verification guidelines during the last year 2013-14, Prasad said.

"By invoking licence conditions, the government has prescribed penalties to be imposed in telecom service providers who, during audit, are found non-complaint to the licence conditions and instructions issued by the government on the subject of CAF verification," he added.

The minister said in the reply that the maximum penalty has been imposed on Aircel at Rs.486.48 crore followed by Reliance Communications at Rs.454.62 crore. BSNL was imposed a fine of Rs.329.14 crore, Bharti Airtel Rs.309.87 crore, Vodafone Rs.211.85 crore and Idea Cellular Rs.123.44 crore for violation of norms.

Further, Tata Teleservices has been imposed a penalty of Rs.172.80 crore, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Rs.52.31 crore, Uninor Rs.11.65 crore, MTNL Rs.11.17 crore and STel Rs.10.92 crore.

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