Govt may penalise Reliance Comm, says minister

Government may impose a penalty on Reliance Communications Ltd after examining a state audit report that found the No. 2 telecoms firm under-reported revenue for two years, the telecoms minister said on Thursday.

Andimuthu Raja told parliament his ministry was studying the report submitted by a special auditor earlier in the year.

“The department shall raise additional demands including interest and penalty, as per licence terms, on the concerned licencees, after examination,” he said in a written reply to a question.

Raja did not say how much the penalty could be or by when the government would decide on its course of action.

A Reliance Communication spokesman reiterated the firm’s denial of any wrongdoing.

“There is no irregularity or discrepancy whatsoever in the accounts of the company,” he said in an email.

RCOM strongly affirms that it anticipates no additional financial liability towards licence or spectrum fee.”

Shares in Reliance Communications, which has a market value of over $8 billion, were up 2.4 percent at 186.20 rupees by 0848 GMT while the Mumbai exchange was up 0.6 percent.

The minister had said on Monday the auditor found Reliance under-reported revenue to the telecoms regulator in 2006/07 and 2007/08


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