Telecom Industry has been facing massive financial distress in India. Telecom operators such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and many others have to pay a cumulative amount of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to DoT towards AGR dues. Recently, the Supreme Court slammed the telcos, and DoT officials stating that self-assessed dues are contempt of court and the telecom operators have to pay their AGR dues estimated by DoT. However, the Supreme Court bench might allow the telcos to clear their AGR dues in the next 15 years. Also, DoT is planning to create a crisis plan which would stabilise the telecom industry and reduce the impact in case if any telecom operator falls.
DoT Crisis Plan Will Help Telecom Operators
Supreme Court has clearly stated that telcos have to clear their AGR dues without any further delays. In such a situation, the DoT crisis plan will revive the stressed telcos who are under substantial financial pressure because of the AGR dues. Also, the Crisis Plan will eliminate the situation of telco giants fall as it would lead to massive porting requests and closure of telecom lines.
Vodafone Idea which is worst affected by the supreme court’s verdict will face massive trouble as the telco giant has to pay around Rs 58,254 crore. Currently, Vodafone Idea has 300 million active subscribers which include big business enterprises. Vodafone Idea has also appealed the government for relief measures to ensure their sustainability in the market. The telco giant has asked for GST refund of Rs 8,000 crore which would settle in their AGR dues. Also, the telco has asked for a reduction in license fees and spectrum usage charge (SUC).
Supreme Court Slams Telcos and DoT
Supreme Court denied the self-assessed AGR estimates done by telecom operators. The supreme bench also slammed DoT for allowing the self-assessment of AGR dues as it is contempt of court. Bharti Airtel self-estimated its AGR dues less than Rs 18,004 crore and also clear their self-assessed amount. However, as per DoT Bharti Airtel has to pay Rs 45,000 crore towards AGR dues.
Similarly, Vodafone Idea estimated their AGR dues at Rs 21,000 crore out of which the telco giant already cleared the principal amount of Rs 7,000 crore. Whereas as per DoT the telco giant has to pay Rs 58,254 crore towards AGR dues.