It’s time for the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to change guidelines to offer jail to erring professionals at telecom operators. Bharti Airtel’s petition on Rs 650 crore penalty — which was rejected by DoT — is the case in point.
Jail term to professionals who make mistakes should be beyond the financial penalty.
My suggestion to the telecom department is based on one major assumption.
Indian telecom operators know about mobile guidelines and they are bound to follow these rules. Several mobile operators have already understated their revenues in the past. They paid penalty or moved the court to protect themselves.
If telecom guidelines and punishments are more stringent, DoT will be able to manage them better.
But DoT also should be pro-active now. They should monitor revenues of telecom players on quarterly basis and take immediate action if there are issues.
The telecom industry should not face delays. DoT is issuing a penalty notice in 2013 after the alleged violation of guidelines happened in 2003. DoT says Airtel got a chance to discuss the issue in 2008. This means, 10 years have lapsed.