After Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea moves Supreme Court in AGR issue

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 01, 2021

Vodafone seeks recalculation of dues, states errors by DoT


Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) has moved the Supreme Court on Thursday alleging that the Department of Telecommunications had made certain errors while calculating the operator’s Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues. This follows a similar approach by Bharti Airtel on Wednesday, which had also prayed for a recall of the apex court’s earlier orders.

VIL estimates its dues to be at ₹21,533 crore, much lower than the DoT’s calculation of ₹58,254 crore.

According to DoT’s notice, VIL’s dues stand at about ₹50,400 crore, which has to be paid in 10 equal instalments through March 31, 2031. The company, which now provides services under Vi brand, has so far paid ₹7,854 crore.

“The company has sought certain clarifications and has pointed out to certain errors in the way DoT has calculated the arrears. By VIL’s own calculation, the dues should much lower than DoT’s calculation due to accounting errors such as revenue calculated twice and certain payments were not accounted for,” sources close to the development told BusinessLine.

When contacted a VIL spokesperson declined to comment.

The Supreme Court, in an order dated October 24, 2019, directed 15 telecom entities to cough up ₹1.47 lakh crore to the Government within three months. This included ₹92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and ₹55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges, penalty and interest. Later in September 2020, the apex court gave 10 years to telecom companies to clear pending AGR dues.

On Wednesday, Bharti Airtel had moved the apex court with a similar request.

According to DoT, the total demand from Airtel is ₹43,989 crore including principal, interest, penalty and interest on penalty, and licence fee dues and spectrum usage charges. However, Airtel, which has already paid ₹18,004 crore, pegs the dues at ₹13,004 crore.

Published on January 07, 2021

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