Illegal Routing Of International Calls Cost Govt Rs 2000 Cr In Last 2 Years

India has incurred a revenue loss of Rs 2000 crore or even more because of illegal routing of international calls in the last two years, a government of India data revealed.

In financial year 2016-17 the country lost Rs 750.13 crore and in FY 17-18, it lost Rs 788.92 crore totalling to Rs 1539 crore because of such calls, telecom minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply in the Parliament. He said these figures do not include the applicable interests.

The loss could be more if the same is accounted for.

Illegal routing of international calls are carried out by some firms by bypassing the calls through the Internet route instead of doing that over the licensed telecom operators. In most cases the illegal call routing is carried by illegal entities.

A total of 24 such firms have been found to be involved in these kind of activities in the last two years with 11 and 13 such firms identified in FY17 and FY 18 respectively.

The minister, however, said ample measure are being taken and work is going on continuous basis to curb the menace of such illegal activities.

“Government has taken measures to check illegal routing of international calls through local lines by setting up a grey market call centre where the subscribers provide the information about such calls on toll free number 1963/180011420. The information received at this call centre is analysed and investigated. Based on the investigation, First Information Report (FIR) is filed with the concerned Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) as needed,” the minister added.

Besides the revenue loss to the exchequer, these illegal calls also pose a serious challenge to the country’s national security. COAI or the Cellular Operators Association of India, in the past, had informed and written to the government of India saying the  illegal routing of international calls pose a serious issue and it should be checked immediately.

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