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100 percent telecom subscriber verification not achieved: CAG

IANS 01 Aug 2014, 21:21:24 PM IST
IANS
New Delhi: Telecom service providers have failed to achieve 100 percent subscriber verification due to ineffective monitoring and weak control by the Department of Telecom (DoT) headquarters and the Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring Cells, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has said in a report.

The verification process was initiated seven years ago.

The CAG report, tabled in Parliament Friday, relates to matters arising from compliance audit of the financial transactions of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoC&IT), including public sector undertakings (PSUs) under its administrative control, for the financial year ended 31 March, 2012.

As the DoT, the report said, had restricted its audit checks to 0.1 percent of the total subscribers of each service provider, a large number of the non-compliant customer acquisition forms (CAF) went undetected and the penalty amounting to Rs.2,116.95 crore remained unpaid by seven service providers.

The report, however, said the telecommunications sector registered an impressive growth of 216 percent during the last five years from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

Underlining poor land management in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), it said though the company has been in existence for more than a decade, “it still does not have a Land Management Policy.”

“In the absence of this, the Company which possesses huge tracts of freehold land measuring 402.99 lakh square meters has been unable to protect its land from encroachment or cancellation of plots due to abnormal delay in getting the inherited plots transferred or mutated or alienated in the name of the company.

“Further the loss making Company was not able to commercially exploit its vacant land and take leverage of the same to generate additional revenue,” the report said.

Analysing operational performance of wireline and wireless services in the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, the report said, it is of “poor quality”.

The audit also noticed that the cost of operations had also increased, besides lack of maintenance of existing equipment. There was ineffective planning and monitoring by the administrative ministry which resulted in significant decline in subscriber base of wireline customers.