All the private telecommunication operators -- basic and cellular -- except Essar Commvision, have paid the stipulated 15 per cent of the outstanding licence fee to the department of telecom. This enables them to migrate to the revenue-sharing regime from the licence fee-based system under the new telecom policy.
The government has stipulated that operators must agree to pay the licence fee up to 31 July 1999, and fixed 16 August as the deadline for receipt of 15 per cent of the dues. The balance is payable by 30 January 2000. The government has received Rs 159.8 crore towards licence fee dues and Rs 63.47 crore as liquidated damages.
Metro cellular operators Modi Telstra, Bharti, BPL, Usha Martin, Sterling, RPG, Skycell and Hutchison Max, circle cellular operators Bharti, Birla AT&T, Escotel, Hexacom, Modicom, Srinivas, Reliance, RPG, Tata and BPL US West, and basic service operators Tata, Bharti, Hughes Ispat, Reliance and Shyam Telelink have paid their dues. The department of telecommunications had earlier encashed the bank guarantees provided by Fascel and JT Mobile, cellular operators in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka respectively, amounting to 35 per cent of their dues.
Essar Commvision, the basic service licencee for the Punjab circle, is understood to have made a representation to DoT disputing the dues. However, DoT has rejected the claim.
Now all the private operators, except Koshika, have accepted the government's conditions on migration to the new revenue-sharing regime. Koshika wanted an offer letter for all the circles where it is operating the services and not for one circle, UP (east). DoT did not accept this condition and then did not offer the package for UP (east). DoT had already terminated Koshika's licences for Bihar and Orissa circles for not paying the outstanding licence fees.
As the new policy is conditional upon both cellular operators in a circle accepting the new package in order to shift to the new system, Aircell Digilink, the other operator in UP(east) has not received the offer letter either.
also see : Basic telecom companies start connecting
Basic and cellular telephone operators in India
Court allows telecom licenses
New telecom policy clears the crossed