Maran non-committal on ADC impact on BSNL, MTNL

New Delhi, Jan 25 | Updated: Jan 26 2005, 05:30am hrs
Telecommunications and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran is non-committal on the issue of the revised access deficit charge (ADC) regime impacting the revenues of telecom PSUsBSNL and MTNL. But, he said that the stand taken by the department of telecommunications (DoT), on the issue of imposing a Rs 150-crore penalty on Reliance Infocomm over violation of licence conditions, is very clear. The minister was speaking on the sidelines of ESC conference here on Tuesday.

When asked about the extent of losses that would be incurred by MTNL and BSNL after the ADC rate cut, Mr Maran said, thats a question for them. He refused to be drawn into the matter.

BSNL and MTNL have claimed losses worth Rs 1,254 crore and Rs 550 crore, respectively, due to the revised ADC regime announced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recently. The new ADC regime would come into effect from February 1.

On the Rs 150-crore penalty imposed by the government on Reliance Info, he said: DoT is very clear..., adding that they have violated the licensing conditions. DoT imposed the penalty, as Reliance Info was re-routing international calls as local traffic.

Commenting on Reliance moving Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal, Mr Maran said, Since it is before TDSAT, I would not be able to make any comment. He added: It is a matter of natural justice. They are arguing the case, we are also arguing...

After the DoT refused to entertain the Reliance Info plea to reconsider the penalty, the company had moved TDSAT.

Reliance Info told DoT, in a recent correspondence, that DoT has not provided particulars of the alleged violations of the licence conditions with any specificity. The company said that the order on levying penalty is clearly unsustainable, illegal and without any basis whatsoever.