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AGR Issue: Vodafone Idea Tells SC It Can Only Pay Rs 2500 Crore; Gets No Relief

Vodafone Idea told the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday that it can only pay Rs 2,500 crore as part of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the government. The telecom operator added that it will pay another Rs 1,000 crore by February 21.

The telco appealed to the apex court that the department of telecommunication (DoT) should not take any forcible action and call forth any bank guarantees as it would further hinder its operations.

However, the SC did not grant Vodafone Idea any relief, dealing a blow to the telco which has to pay Rs 53,000 crore to the DoT as part of its AGR dues.

Vodafone Idea had said last Saturday that it is assessing the amount that can be paid towards AGR dues, even as it flagged concerns over the continuation of its business.Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel said on Monday that it has paid Rs 10,000 crore to the telecom department as the part amount of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

The telecom operator’s spokesperson confirmed to BusinessToday.In that, it will pay the balance amount after completing the exercise of calculating (AGR) dues across 22 circles which will take at least a week to ten days. The company added that it shall make the payment before the next date of Supreme Court’s (SC) hearing which is on March 17.

Bharti Airtel’s overall AGR dues as assessed by the department of telecommunications (DoT) stand at Rs 35,586 crore including licence fee and spectrum usage charge.The telecom department on February 14 began issuing orders asking firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear past dues immediately.

The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, had started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to the firms.

Airtel had previously responded to DoT order by offering to pay Rs 10,000 crore by February 20 and the remaining before March 17.

So far, only Reliance Jio has fully paid its AGR dues of Rs 195 crore. – Business Today

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