Telecom operators have been facing substantial financial distress because of the massive AGR dues. However, Telcos have been self-assessing their dues which are showing different figures then DoT. As per the person aware of the matter, Bharti Airtel’s self-assessed dues are three times lesser then DoT estimates as they have included certain deductions which have been refused by DoT. Also, the telco has duplicated entries among various other discrepancies. As per the sources of ET “Certain deductions haven’t been allowed by DoT. The telcos were informed that DoT will add the revenue for some period but will allow the deductions once the operators furnish all the necessary documents”.
Telcos Have Submitted Necessary Documents
Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices have furnished all the necessary documents asked by DoT. The telcos are hoping that DoT will lower their AGR dues, which includes spectrum usage charge (SUC), License fees, interest and penalties. Also, the license fees and SUC will be paid on the basis of telcos AGR.
However, the interest and penalties compounded by the government have taken disputed heads into the account which has increased manifold in the different amount of the telcos estimates. As per other sources, the most significant discrepancy in the AGR dues has happened because DoT has not allowed certain deductions on interconnect usage charge in the absence of relevant documents. The dues estimated by DoT and Bharti Airtel have been amplified because of higher interest rates and calculations over several years.
Bharti Airtel Self-Assessed AGR Dues Stand at Rs 13,004 Crore
Bharti Airtel has self-assessed their AGR dues at Rs 13,004 crore whereas DoT has estimated Rs 40,000 crore AGR dues. However, the telco giant has paid an additional amount of Rs 5,000 crore as ad-hoc payment which is subjected to various conditions. Also, Tata Teleservices have to pay Rs 15,000 crore as per DoT estimates, but the telco has self-assessed their AGR dues worth Rs 2,197 crore. As reported by ET, the controller of communications accounts (CCA) of the DoT has not allowed deductions. Also, CCA is unsure about the interpretation of certain circulars by DoT. If the AGR dues are not settled, Telcos will appeal the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal for the final decision on the settlement of AGR liability.