Telcos need to pay 10% of total AGR dues by March 31 irrespective of payment made

Operational telecom operators are expected to pay ₹12,921 crore by March 31, of which close to 80% has to be paid by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel.

Telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, which have pending adjusted gross revenue dues will have to pay 10% of the total liability by March 31 irrespective of the part-payments made by them, according to government sources.

Operational telecom operators are expected to pay ₹12,921 crore by March 31, of which close to 80% has to be paid by Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel.

“The Supreme Court order is very clear that telecom operators have to make 10 per cent payment of the total dues as demanded by DoT by March 31, 2021. DoT has already raised demand for full AGR dues. The 10 per cent payment to be made by this March will be calculated on total AGR liability,” a DoT official told PTI.

The officer said that telecom operators can clear the balance dues in 10 yearly instalments from the next financial year onward.

According to the officer, Vodafone Idea will have to pay around ₹ 5,825 crore and Bharti Airtel ₹4,398 crore against the total demand of ₹58,254 crore and ₹43,980 crore, respectively, raised by the DoT following the apex court order.

The payment has to be made irrespective of part-payments of ₹7,854 crore and ₹18,004 crore already made by Vodafone Idea and Airtel, respectively, the officer said.

“The Supreme Court was aware of the payment the companies have already made. Still they clearly mentioned about 10 per cent of ‘total dues as demanded by DoT’,” the officer said.

Similarly, BSNL and MTNL, who have not made any payment, will have to pay ₹583.5 crore and MTNL around ₹435 crore by the end of this fiscal, according to the DoT’s interpretation of the apex court order.

When asked if DoT will raise demand notice for the payment, the officer said there is no need for any notice as the apex court order is already in place and companies are aware of the payment that they have to make.

Only Reliance Jio will not have to make any payment as it has cleared the entire AGR dues of ₹195.18 crore, another officer clarified.

The DoT has raised total demand of around ₹1.47 lakh crore from telecom companies. Some of the companies like Reliance Communications (total dues ₹21,139 crore) , Aircel (₹10,229.77 crore), S Tel (₹55.67 crore), Etisalat DB (₹31.81 crore) are either going through liquidation process or have shut down their operations.

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