- Vodafone Idea has calculated payable dues of up to Rs 23,000 crore
- Bharti Airtel has calculated payable dues of up to Rs 18,000 crore
- DoT has calculated total payable dues for both telcos at Rs 89,000 crore
The estimates of the telecom companies for the dues which they have to pay in the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) matter are drastically different from what is being proposed by the DoT. The DoT had long given its estimates charting out how much dues Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel had to pay. However, the estimates given by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are pegged around 50% of the dues which are given by DoT. This new report comes from ET Telecom, and it is quite possible that the telecom companies and DoT might be on the polar ends on the issue, thus paving the way for another legal dispute between the entities.
Dues Calculation Differing By 50% For Both Telcos
As per the Bharti Airtel estimates the dues which are to be paid sum up to be Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 18,000 crore instead of the Rs 35,500 crore as announced by DoT. On the other hand, for Vodafone Idea, the estimates in-house have been calculated to be Rs 18,000 crore to Rs 23,000 crore instead of the total Rs 53,000 crore, which was the number given by DoT. While Bharti Airtel is in a better position to pay off the dues, Vodafone Idea is only going to pay a small fraction of the total dues in the coming days. Vodafone Idea has remarked that it will only be paying Rs 2,500 crore in the coming days and it will pay an additional Rs 1,000 crore before February 21.
Difference in Calculation Because of Errors
The reason why the estimates of the telecom operators and the DoT differ is because as per DoT’s definition, there are errors like duplication of certain items. The dues which the telcos have to pay are constituted by the Spectrum usage charges, license fees, interests, penalties and the interests on these penalties. The penalties and interests make up for more than 75% of the total dues.
DoT and Telcos Might Have Another Legal Row
DoT may issue fresh notices for the balance dues if the telcos’ estimates don’t match their own, or action might be taken against them for not paying up on time, officials said. To pay off these dues, Bharti Airtel has resorted to $ 3 billion worth of share placement, whereas Vodafone Idea has resorted to rights issues worth Rs 25,000 crore. Out of this amount, around Rs 2,800 crore will be allocated to pay off the dues.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.