Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Tata Teleservices had submitted petitions in the Supreme Court to challenge the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues amount that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had assessed. However, the SC has ruled that it won’t allow any reassessment or change in the amount of dues that was finalised in the last year’s hearing. This has put a major blow in the hopes of Vodafone Idea (Vi). The telco had said on its fiscal fourth quarter’s earnings call that it hopes to get some financial relief if the SC rules in the favour of the telcos.
Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel Will Have to Pay Complete Dues
As per a report from ET Telecom, the SC has ruled against the telcos’ wishes. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel will have to pay the complete AGR dues that they have. Vi will have to pay its AGR dues of Rs 58,400 crore and Airtel will have to pay Rs 43,980 crore.
Even though Airtel’s financial condition is much better than Vi’s, there’s no doubt that Airtel would have benefited from the decision had the SC ruled in favour of the telcos’. For the unaware, Bharti Airtel had self-assessed its AGR dues at Rs 13,003 crore while Vodafone Idea had self-assessed its dues at Rs 21,533 crore.
On the other hand, Tata Teleservices had self-assessed its AGR dues at Rs 2,197 crore against the DoT’s assessment of Rs 16,798 crore. Out of their total dues, Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 7,854 crore, Airtel has paid Rs 18,003 crore, Tata Tele has paid Rs 4,197 crore. As per the SC order last year, the telcos have to pay their AGR dues in ten instalments until March 31, 2031. All the concerned telcos were really looking forward to the SC decision but since it has gone the other way, they will be pushing for tariff hikes even faster now.