Bharti Airtel Pays An Additional Rs 8,004 Crore Towards AGR Dues

Bharti Airtel Pays An Additional Rs 8,004 Crore Towards AGR Dues

Bharti Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charges

Bharti Airtel has paid an additional amount of Rs 8,004 crore to the government towards Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues, days after paying Rs 10,000 towards its statutory dues.

Bharti Airtel had paid Rs 10,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on February 17, 2020 in compliance to the Supreme Court judgement and after the telecom department had begun issuing orders to telecom companies to clear their dues immediately or face “necessary action”.

According to DoT estimates, Airtel owed nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee, spectrum usage charges with interest on unpaid amount, penalty and interest on penalty till July 2019.

Bharti Airtel had then said that it would make payment of the remaining amount after a self-assessment exercise.

The company said it calculated the liabilities on self-assessment basis till December 31, 2019 and the payment includes interest up to February 29, 2020.

The company has carried out self-assessment from FY 2006-07 up to December 31, 2019 and interest thereon up to February 29, 2020 in line with the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) judgement, Bharti Airtel said.

“Accordingly the company paid an additional amount of Rs 3,004 crore towards the full and final amounts due over and above ad-hoc amount of Rs 10,000 crore paid on February 17, 2020 on behalf of Bharti Group of companies,” Nharti Airtel said in a regulatory filing.

The payment included liabilities on Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom and Telenor India.

“We have also deposited an additional amount of Rs 5,000 crore, as an ad-hoc payment (subject to the subsequent refund/adjustment to cover differences, if any arising from the reconciliation exercise with the DoT,” Airtel said.

Among the other telecom firms, 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 owes around Rs 13,800 crore, BSNL Rs 4,989 crore and MTNL Rs 3,122 crore.

Vodafone Idea has so far paid Rs 3,500 crore as part of AGR dues to the DoT.

In October, the Supreme Court had upheld the telecom department’s demand that wireless carriers pay Rs 92,000 crore in overdue levies and interest, and had given the telecom operators three months’ time to clear their dues with the telecom department.

“Based on the aforesaid payment we have now complied with AGR judgement and the directions in the order of the Hon”ble Supreme Court dated October 24, 2019,” the company said.

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