The department of telecommunications (DoT) is in the final stages of issuing demand notice to telecom companies, whose licences were quashed by the Supreme Court in February, 2012 but were allowed to operate till completion of spectrum auction, for an estimated Rs 2,764.29 crore.
The Supreme Court in February, 2012 had quashed 122 2G licences. The apex court later in 2013 had asked the government to charge fees from companies that continued operation even after cancellation of their licences on February 2, 2012.
"We are in the process to finalise the demand notice to telecom operators whose licences were quashed. There is no fix date as when it will be sent but it will be sent within a month," a DoT official told PTI.
The department had earlier estimated the demand at Rs 2,764.29 crore, including basic fee, fine and interest, from nine telecom operators.
The DoT is, however, reworking on the amount for each operator again.
"We are about to zero in on to closing date of operation of telecom companies that should be taken in to account for calculating charges. It has to be done at DoT-level now and we are about to close it," the official said.
"The issue relating to liability of the licencees, who discontinued their operations, between February 2, 2012 and this date shall be decided separately," the apex court had said in its order on February 15, 2013.DoT had calculated the total amount of Rs 2,764.29 crore for the period between February 2, 2012 , the date when apex ordered cancellation of licences, and February 15, 2013.
According to provisional charges, liability of Sistema Shyam Teleservices amounted to Rs 463 crore, Uninor Rs 513.4 crore, Idea Cellular Rs 162.04 crore, Loop Telecom Rs 389.48 crore, S Tel Rs 17.96 crore.
Spice Communications (acquired by Idea Cellular) Rs 108.9 crore, Tata Teleservices Rs 3.22 crore, Videocon Telecommunications Rs 501.11 crore and Etisalat DB Rs 605.02 crore.
Most of these companies, except SSTL, closed or scaled down their operations before February 15, 2013. Old telecom operators are likely to get some relief in one-time spectrum charges, which is estimated at Rs 23,197 crore at present, after DoT recalculates rates afresh based on the February auction price.
"There will be a revision in rates of four circles- Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan- for 1800 Mhz and in three metros where auction for 900 Mhz band were held in February. Rest will remain the same," a DoT official told PTI.
The one spectrum fee is the charge operators were asked to pay for holding additional spectrum. In 2008, telecom firms were given 4.4 MHz spectrum along with licence for Rs 1,658 crore for pan-India operations.