Vodafone Idea (Vi), the third-largest telecom operator in the country has decided to defer Rs 8837 crore worth of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues for four years. The option to do this was given to the telco by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Vodafone Idea will now pay the said amount in six equal instalments post the moratorium period starting from March 31, 2026.
The company said that the old communication from DoT dated October 14, 2021, provided deferment of AGR-related dues as determined by the Supreme Court (SC) in the AGR case, by a period of four years. This covered all the AGR dues up to the period FY2016-17 (dues which were included in the SC order).
But on June 15, 2022, DoT further communicated with Vodafone Idea that the telco can opt for a moratorium of four years for all AGR-related dues up to FY2018-19, which were not included in the SC order dated September 1, 2020.
DoT Asked for an Answer from Vodafone Idea Withing 15 Days
DoT had given Vi fifteen days for responding. Thus, the last date for responding was June 30, 2022, as the letter was given on June 15, 2022. DoT said that the company can also give equity to the government against the interest dues for these AGR-related payments. The answer for this has to be provided by Vi within 90 days. If Vi decides to exercise this right, the government would get an even larger stake in the telco.
Vodafone Idea’s board on Wednesday said that it approves the exercise for the option of deferment of AGR-related dues by a period of four years with immediate effect. The telco said that the AGR-related dues amount mentioned in the DoT letter was Rs 8,837 crore. But the amount is subject to revision on account of the disposal of various representations. It will be interesting to see whether the same option is exercised by Bharti Airtel.