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Govt-appointed spl auditor has given a clean chit
March, 15th 2010

The countrys largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel said on Sunday that the government-appointed special auditor has given it a clean chit. The special audit was ordered by the department of telecommunications last year on the countrys top five telecom service providers to verify if the firms had underpaid licence and spectrum charges to the government.

The findings of the special auditors appointed by the department of telecommunications have reconfirmed that all payments of licence fee and spectrum charges are as per the licence conditions as well as applicable rulings of the TDSAT. The audit has been conducted in a fair and transparent manner, said Manoj Kohli, CEO & joint managing director of Bharti Airtel.

The audit report was submitted to the DoT last week. Neither Bharti nor the DoT has released the findings of the audit report.

Bhartis statement comes in the backdrop of speculation in a section of industry that the audit report may have found some inconsistencies in the companys reporting of subscriber numbers to DoT. The company has thus sought to pre-empt any further speculation on the subject.

Bharti Airtel has always maintained the highest standards of corporate governance and has displayed highest regard for the regulatory compliance, Kohli added. Kohli is now the CEO of the Bharti Airtels international business but was CEO India and South Asia for the period when the audit was conducted.

Bharti said the DoT had specifically indicated to the auditors to quantify the amount of licence fee even in those cases where TDSAT has ruled in favour of the industry.

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