Direct-to-home (DTH) service providers Tata Play, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Direct and Dish TV have come under the scrutiny of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, according to the Economic Times. The report mentions that the Center has requested a special audit of these service providers over the age-old dispute over license fees.
According to a report by the Economic Times, the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has written to the CAG of India asking for a thorough audit of all these DTH service providers going back to their first year or when the license was approved by the government. . It added that this action has been initiated as there are suspected discrepancies regarding the accounting of the income of these companies.
The I&B department has asked the CAG to conduct this special audit to ensure that the amount submitted to the central government through license fee is assessed and collected correctly, according to the report. The development comes after DTH service providers asked for a license fee waiver in May, citing a drop in subscribers over the years. The report confirmed that the audit will look at Big TV/Independent TV and Videocon’s D2H TV.
These DTH service providers have to pay part of their revenue as license fees to the Centre, fees for which exemption was required, as mentioned earlier. This amount is set at 8 percent of the total annual revenue as recorded in the company’s audited accounts, the report added.
Revenue from license fee for DTH, commercial TV services, FM radio etc., is reportedly expected to cross Rs 1,000 crore in FY23, according to the report.