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BJP MP writes to Minister cautioning against package for telcos
New Delhi, Oct 30 - A ruling party lawmaker has objected to the proposed relief package being proposed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for private telecom operators overturning the Supreme Court order on payment of annual gross revenue (AGR) dues to the government.
Bishweswar Tudu, BJP MP from Orissa, in a letter to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also cautioned that this would imply favouring a few private companies at the cost of the exchequer.
"This money is to be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India and is public money. Any change in terms and conditions retrospectively amount to favour a few private operators at the cost of public exchequer", he said.
"Therefore, I request you to instruct the officers to ensure recovery of this amount within the time period given by the Supreme Court", the lawmaker said.
The Mayurbhanj MP, who is a member of SC & ST Welfare Committee and Chemicals and Fertiliser Committee of Parliament, expressed surprise at the relief package being considered. "I was astonished to know from a report that the Department of Telecom is mulling a relief package for telecom operators overturning Hon. Supreme Court order making them to pay around Rs 1.2 lakh crore which they have been litigating", Tudu said in the letter.
The MP pointed out that the private players have earned huge profits and should be able to pay up. "These operators have earned huge profits after the migration package and using this money they have acquired a stake in other companies. Their promoters have sound financial standing. They should not have any difficulty in paying the dues within the time period of 3 months given by the court by diluting stakes or raising loans", he added.
The ruling party MP said the private telecom operators have been advocating a relief package such as migration package given by the NDA government in 1999.
Emphasising the difference, the MP said the migration package in 1999 was offered from a prospective date without diluting liabilities of licence fee and interest etc till date of migration, while now, they are asking to waive previous liabilities which have been upheld by the Supreme Court.
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