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AGR dues: Bharti Airtel pays Rs 10,000 crore to DoT

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NEW DELHI: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Monday paid Rs 10,000 crore to the department of telecommunications (DoT) in connection with the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. “The … total amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor. 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,” Airtel said.
Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices are likely to make payment for AGR dues to avoid stringent punitive action from the telecom department, according to an official source.
The three companies are jointly liable to pay dues of over Rs 1 lakh crore, but they have informed the DoT of making only partial payment, as per their representatives.
Operators are collectively liable to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore in AGR dues as per the Supreme Court order dated October 24, 2019. The deadline to pay the amount ended on January 23, but none of the telecom operators, except Reliance Jio, paid the amount.
Even state-owned BSNL and MTNL did not pay the dues.
As per the last available estimates, Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charges, to the government.
Vodafone Idea is staring at dues worth Rs 53,000 crore, which includes up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee. Tata Teleservices, which sold its mobile services business to Airtel, owes around Rs 13,800 crore, BSNL Rs 4,989 crore and MTNL Rs 3,122 crore.
Out of Rs 1.47 lakh crore, around Rs 1.13 lakh crore is likely to be recovered, as other companies, which are liable to pay AGR dues, have folded up their businesses.
Reliance Communications (RCom) and Aircel are going through insolvency proceedings.
The top court on Friday came down heavily on the telecom department for not taking steps to recover statutory dues from the operators.
(With PTI inputs)



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