AGR issue: Non-telecom cos to move DoT

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on February 22, 2020

The non-telecom companies – including GAIL (India) Ltd, Oil India Ltd and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd — will now move the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Adjusted Gross Revenue issue, and take a further call following the licensor’s decision.

RailTel is another Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) which will have to pay AGR dues according to the Supreme Court’s February 14 ruling.

“The companies have withdrawn their applications filed before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and will now move DoT. The companies will take a call, whether to move higher courts or tribunals, based on DoT’s decision in the matter,” Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) Director-General Rajan S Mathews told BusinessLine.

The DoT has issued a demand notice seeking ₹1.83-lakh crore from GAIL, ₹48,000 crore from Oil India and ₹22,000 crore from Power Grid. The dues include licence fees on non-telecom revenue, interest and penalties on the licence fees.

On its behalf, COAI had earlier sought a ‘debt package’ from the DoT to pay the AGR dues of about ₹1.47-lakh crore in AGR dues, in line with the Supreme Court order dated October 24, 2019.

“Under the debt package, the industry had sought for a two-year moratorium and waiving of interest rates, apart from deferred payment of dues. Going forward, we had sought elimination of AGR completely as we have already made upfront payment for license and spectrum, or redefine AGR as per industry recommendation,” Mathews said.

Published on February 22, 2020

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