Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) has approached the Supreme Court of India demanding a recalculation of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. As per the telco, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) hasn’t calculated the dues correctly. TTSL said that the telecom department made arithmetical errors in the calculation of dues, which resulted in a higher amount than how much it should have been according to the company lawyers. It is worthy to note that the same claims have been made by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) about the AGR dues they have to pay to the government — more details on the story ahead.
Tata Teleservices Say DoT Double-Counted Monthly Interest and Penalties
As per a report from ET Telecom, TTSL has claimed in the Supreme Court that the telecom department has double-counted and added those penalties and monthly interest on the total AGR dues which need to be corrected/adjusted. The telco has paid Rs 4,197 crore out of its total dues of Rs 16,798 crore.
It is worth mentioning that the operator sold its mobile communications business to Bharti Airtel but still has the dues it needs to pay over 10 instalments by 2031 as per a court order issued last year. Both Vi and Airtel have also appealed at the apex court to adjust the incorrect AGR dues that DoT has calculated.
It all started with Airtel moving to the court a few days back and filing a petition claiming that DoT has made several errors in calculating AGR dues. Airtel was followed by Vi, which also claimed the same thing.
Supreme Court of India had earlier said that no further assessment of the dues would be entertained and the telcos will have to accept the telecom department's calculation. But now, the telcos have asked the court to direct DoT to recalculate the amount on its own with the inputs they have in hand.
As per DoT’s calculation, Vi’s total dues amount to Rs 58,400 crore, and Airtel’s total dues amount to Rs 43,980 crore. Out of their total dues, Vi has already paid Rs 7,854 crore, and Airtel has paid Rs 18,004 crore.
Both Vi and Airtel believe that there have been multiple arithmetical errors committed by DoT in calculating AGR dues, resulting in a higher amount of dues. The court or DoT is yet to issue any comment on the claims made by the telcos.
The operators need as much money as possible in their pocket to be able to purchase spectrum in the upcoming auctions and expand 5G business in the future. Thus this matter can result in yet another legal tussle between the government and the telcos.