Telecom operators Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel reportedly reached out the DoT (Department of Telecommunications) for clarity on how the AGR dues are calculated. The Supreme Court, on September 1, asked telcos to pay the AGR dues within ten years. And the apex court considered the final amounts submitted by DoT. Since the very beginning of the AGR case, Airtel and Vi are opposing the calculations of DoT saying that their self-assessed AGR dues are on the lower side. For the unaware, Airtel is asked to pay Rs 44,000 crore whereas Vi should pay Rs 58,400 crore in the next ten years. According to ET Telecom, the DoT has rejected the latest request from both the telcos saying there’s no need for ‘further clarifications’ as the Supreme Court already approved the calculations made by DoT.
Dispute Between Telcos and DoT Over 1st Instalment
The latest dispute between the two telcos and DoT is over the next instalment. According to the Supreme Court’s order, Vi needs to pay around Rs 50,400 crore and Airtel needs to pay Rs 25,976 crore over ten instalments till March 31, 2031.
As we all know, Bharti Airtel paid Rs 18,004 crore as AGR dues and Vi paid Rs 7,854 crore till now. The report says, Airtel and Vi urge that they have already paid the 10% dues (first instalment) which is due on March 31, 2021, and they will directly move to the second instalment or the next 10% due payment for which the deadline is March 31, 2022. But DoT says the telcos are required to pay their next 10% dues by March 31, 2021.
“Vodafone Idea and Airtel have informed the DoT that they need to know the AGR dues and asked the government to explain the method used to arrive at the due amount. So far, there has been no response from the government,” said a senior industry executive aware of the development to ET Telecom.
DoT will likely address this issue by the end of this quarter. It is also said that DoT may reach out Supreme Court with a status update on how much it recovered from both the telcos.
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