The TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) has decided that it won’t look at the private companies and the public sector units (PSUs) in a different tone. Both the companies will have to be treated the same, and if there are any dues, both PSUs and the private companies will have to pay them.
TDSAT said that it wouldn’t treat any PSU differently from a private company. If any special exemption is to be provided to a PSU, then the same should be provided to the private companies too.
According to a PTI report, TDSAT has ruled that the government cannot exempt the PSUs from paying adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues because they only get a small portion of their revenues from telecom services. The PSUs must be held liable to pay their share of AGR dues, if any, believes the telecom disputes appellate tribunal.
DoT Says AGR Dues in Case of Mobile Operators Completely Different
PSUs such as Railtel Corporation, PowerGrid, Noida Software Technology Parks, Delhi Metro, GAIL, Software Technology Parks of India, and more are required to pay AGR dues.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that AGR dues in the case of mobile operators are completely different. DoT argued that PSUs represent public funds and discharge governmental functions; thus, it is in the interest of the public that they are exempted from paying AGR dues.
Further, DoT added that the revenues from telecom services form a very small part of these PSUs' total revenues.
However, TDSAT is firm in its view about not treating either of the companies differently. TDSAT said that to ensure a level playing field for everyone, every licensee holding similar licenses will be held liable to the same treatment. Thus, if the private companies have to pay AGR dues on their revenues if they are providing telecom services, the PSUs will have to do the same.
TDSAT said there is no legal basis in giving exemptions to companies because they earn only a small part of their revenues from telecom services.