‘Miscomputation’ of AGR dues: Airtel moves apex court against DoT

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 06, 2021

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel is likely to argue against the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) at the Supreme Court , for miscomputing the total dues for adjusted gross revenue (AGR), payable by the operator.

According to sources, the company has moved to apex court on the AGR issue seeking lowering of the dues payable citing miscomputation of dues.

According to DoT, the total demand faced by Airtel is ₹43,989 crore including principal, interest, penalty and interest on penalty, and licence fee dues and spectrum usage charge (SUC).

However, Airtel said the issue before the apex court was limited to dues payable on account of licence fee, and not SUC and therefore, the calculations are not right. The operator has already paid ₹18,004 crore and according to its calculations and self assessment, it owes only ₹13,004 crore to the government.

The operator, in its prayer,, asked the Supreme Court to recall the orders dated March 18, 2020 and July 20, 2020 along with the direction of September 1, 2020 in which the court had held that the amount of ₹43,980 crore be taken as ‘the final amount due and payable by the applicant’.

BusinessLine has seen the copy of the plea sent to the court by Airtel.

It has requested the apex court to “proceed with and finalise the assessments after taking into account the representations made by the applicants in this respect and thereby determine the total amount due and payable by the applicants; and pass any other further order,” the Court deems fit.

According to sources, Vodafone Ideal (Vi) is also expected to follow suit in the next few days. For Vi, while the government is asking ₹58,400 crore in AGR dues, the operator's self assessment works to around ₹21,533 crore. It has already paid ₹7,854 crore last year.

According to DoT’s calculations, while Airtel owes the government about ₹26,000 crore, Vi owes around ₹50,000 crore payable by March 2031 (in 10 annual instalments).

Published on January 06, 2021

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