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CAG report pulls up DoT's wireless wing

Our Economy Bureau  |  New Delhi 

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for its inadequate control and poor maintenance of records.
The wing is the sole nodal agency of the government for administering the radio frequency spectrum and issuing or renewing licenses for users.
The CAG report pulled up the for non-renewal of licences, irregularity in collection of bank guarantees and failing to
The report of the CAG, tabled in Parliament this week, said the wing could not recover outstanding dues of Rs 1,464.50 crore from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Rs 89.11 crore from Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd on account of spectrum charges.
"As a result of non-availability of complete data, the wing could neither worked out the licence fee and royalty nor could it recover outstanding dues, even from public sector undertakings (PSUs)," CAG said.
It also said the failed to issue valid licences after the issue of letters of authorisation for use of frequency to private cellular services providers, leading to non-recovery of advances amounting to Rs 162.93 crore.
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament will now go into the CAG report.
The report found that a large number of licences had not been renewed by the for several years. This resulted in the non-realisation of licence fee and royalty to the extent of Rs 51.88 crore.
DoT's instructions say must maintain a financial bank guarantee (FBG) equivalent to the estimated sum they will pay for two quarters towards licence fees.

CAG found that the had not taken the bank guarantees amounting to Rs 106.64 crore from 14

was also pulled up as it failed to cancel the licences of defaulting firms for unauthorised use of spectrum. The for basic and include a penalty at the rate of 150 per cent of the defaulted amount with further provision of interest on penalty for delay of payments in dues.
"Although there is a provision for penalty, the did not take any action against the defaulters," CAG said in its report.
CAG also said the failed to effectively monitor the use of radio frequencies by service providers due to faulty equipment installed in its monitoring stations.

First Published: Fri, July 16 2004. 00:00 IST