Bharti Airtel Pays Rs 10,000 Crore To Government After Supreme Court Rap

Bharti Airtel said on Monday that it had paid Rs 10,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards statutory dues. The private sector telecom service provider’s payment to the government after the telecom department began issuing orders to telecom companies to clear their dues immediately or face “necessary action”. Bharti Airtel said it would make payment of the balance after a self-assessment exercise.

“Total amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor,” Bharti Airtel said.

“We are in the process of completing the self assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in the SC,” it added.

The company said it would also submit supporting details at the time of making balance payment.

Last Friday, the Department of Telecommunications began issuing orders to telecom companies asking firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear their 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.

Bharti Airtel had previously responded to DoT order by offering to pay Rs 10,000 crore by February 20 and the remaining before March 17. The company owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore to the government, , including licence fee and spectrum usage charges.

Shares in Bharti Airtel declined as much as 1.49 per cent during Monday’s session before paring most of those losses by late morning deals.

At 11:14 am, the Airtel stock traded 0.50 per cent lower at Rs 556.70 apiece on the BSE, underperforming the benchmark Sensex index which was down 0.09 per cent amid choppy trade. – NDTV

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