SourceThe Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked six DTH operators, including market leaders Tata Sky and Dish TV, to pay over Rs 2,000 crore, which the ministry said they collectively owe to the government in lieu of the licence fee. The ministry sent demand notices on Friday to Tata Sky, Dish TV, Sun Direct, Airtel Digital TV, Reliance Digital TV and Videocon D2H, asking them to pay up the sum within 15 days. This followed a ministry-ordered independent audit of the accounts of the six operators.
The calculation has been made on the basis of the gross revenue of each operator. The time period for calculating the arrears is from the day the licences were issued to each of them.
The issue relating to licence fee payment has been going on between the ministry and the operators for a few years now. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) had, in a 2010 order, said DTH operators should pay 10 percent of their adjusted gross revenue as licence fee. The ministry had taken the matter to the Supreme Court where the case is pending. "How could the ministry do this, given the fact that the matter is sub-judice ," said Harit Nagpal, managing director at Tata Sky.
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