Telecom AGR Latest News: DoT orders telecom companies to clear AGR dues by midnight | India Business News
The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to firms, an order seen by news agency PTI said.
The order issued by the UP (West) Telecom Circle asked “all telecom service providers” to clear dues by 11.59 pm Friday.
“With reference to subject cited above, you are hereby directed to make the payment of outstanding dues of licence fee and spectrum usage charges by 14.02.2020, 11:59 PM positively,” it said.
The order comes just hours after the apex court issued notice to the companies and their directors directing them to explain why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against them for not complying with its order to pay AGR of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the DoT.
The court had asked the operators to deposit the amount by March 17.
While in all, 15 entities owe the government Rs 1.47 lakh crore — Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges, it is not immediately clear just how much of that has been sought by the government by midnight tonight.
Meanwhile, in a letter, Bharti Airtel has offered to pay Rs 10,000 crore by February 20, and the rest before next date of hearing in Supreme Court.
Telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices had approached the SC in January, seeking modification in the top court’s verdict in the AGR matter.
Soon after the apex court made its observations, the telecom department withdrew its order dated January 23, 2020 that asked for no coercive action against telecom companies defaulting on statutory dues payment.
Voda Idea owes over Rs 50,000 crore to DoT, while Bharti Airtel has to pay over Rs 35,500 crore. Tata Teleservices, which sold its mobile services business to Airtel, has dues of nearly Rs 14,000 crore.
Reliance Jio is the only company which has paid its dues of Rs 60 crore. The amount was significantly lower than others as the company started its operations in 2016.
Shares of Vodafone Idea plunged 23.21 per cent to close at Rs 3.44 on the BSE on Friday. During the trade, it dropped 27.45 per cent to Rs 3.25.
(With agency inputs)
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