Telcos make part payment of AGR dues to DoT

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 17, 2020

Telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea India (VIL) and the Tatas, on Monday paid part of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the Department of Telecommunications.

While Airtel has paid ₹10,000 crore, Vodafone-Idea has paid ₹2,500 crore and Tata, ₹2,190 crore. The companies came forward to make at least part payments after the Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the DoT and the operators.

Airtel said, “...we have duly paid an amount of ₹9,500 crore on behalf of Bharti Airtel Ltd (including in respect of Telenor India, which has merged with Bharti Airtel) and an amount of ₹500 crore on behalf of Bharti Hexacom Ltd. The said total amount of ₹10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom and Telenor.”

On February 14, the company had said that it would pay the amount by February 20, immediately after the Supreme Court pronounced its displeasure on the telcos not paying a single rupee towards the AGR dues.

“We are in the process of completing the self-assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in the Supreme Court. We will also submit the supporting details at the time of making the balance payment,” the company added.




As per the government’s assessment, Airtel owes around ₹35,586 crore in statutory dues, including licence fee and spectrum usage charges; VIL has dues worth ₹53,000 crore — its liabilities add up to ₹24,729 crore in spectrum dues, and another ₹28,309 crore in licence fees; Tata Teleservices owes around ₹13,823 crore.

In all, 15 entities owe the government ₹1.47 lakh crore – ₹92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and another ₹55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.

The apex court on January 17 had dismissed the petitions by the operators to review its October 24 verdict, rejecting the operators’ definition of AGR and directed them to pay the dues (with interest) by January 23.

SC rejects Voda’s proposal

PTI adds: However, the Supreme Court has rejected Vodafone’s proposal to pay ₹2,500 crore by the end of the day and ₹1,000 crore by Friday against the AGR dues, while also refusing its plea seeking that no coercive action be taken against it.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra declined to accept the proposal submitted by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Vodafone, after he mentioned the matter.

Rohatgi said Vodafone was willing to pay ₹2,500 crore today (Monday) and another ₹1,000 crore by Friday but requested that no coercive action is taken against the company.

He also asked that the bank guarantee deposited with the government by Vodafone not be encashed.




Published on February 17, 2020

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