Airtel, Vi and Tata Tele Will Soon Have to Answer SC on AGR Dues Payments

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Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), and Tata Telecommunications had all denied paying any further adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues for FY21. The telcos believe that they have already paid more than they were supposed to.

According to a PTI report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court (SC) for the non-compliance of the AGR order by the telcos.

As per the SC order on September 1, 2020, all the telcos had to pay their AGR dues over the period of 10 years with a 10% advance on the total amount before the end of FY21, i.e., March 31, 2021.

When DoT asked the telcos to pay the 10% advance, the operators said they had already done that. DoT says that the 10% advance was referred for the ‘leftover’ dues and not the ‘total dues’ assessed for the companies.

Airtel believes that it doesn’t need to make any AGR payment for the next four instalments, and Vi believes that it only has to pay AGR dues in 2022. The time for the telcos for making the payments has passed, and now the telecom department has moved to the SC for getting clearance on the matter.

As per the DoT assessment, Airtel had to pay Rs 43,980 cores in AGR dues, out of which it has already paid Rs 18,004 crores. Vi, on the other hand, was said to have AGR dues of Rs 58,364 crores, out of which the telco has paid Rs 7,854 crores.

The telcos say that they have paid more than 10% of what was asked of them by referring to the amount paid above. Further, the telcos have gone to the SC asking for a reassessment of the AGR dues amount. Operators say that DoT made arithmetical errors while calculating the dues.

The response from the SC is yet to come on any of the matters mentioned above.

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