are busy doing their maths, experts feel that since the telcos have made payments over and above the 10 per cent of the total dues, they should be allowed to start the payment cycle from the next fiscal (April 2021-March 2022). If they are spared the 10 per cent payment by March 31, 2021, the telcos would get an additional year to kick off their 10-year instalments.
According to DoT, operational telecom operators are expected to pay Rs 12,921 crore by March 31, of which close to 80 per cent has to be paid by Vodafone Idea
and Bharti Airtel.
The DoT official told PTI that the Supreme Court order is very clear that telecom operators have to make 10 per cent payment of the total dues as demanded by DoT by March 31, 2021. “DoT has already raised demand for full AGR dues. The 10 per cent payment to be made by this March will be calculated on total AGR liability,” the official said.
Based on this calculation, Vodafone Idea
will have to pay around Rs 5,825 crore and Bharti Airtel Rs 4,398 crore by March 31, 2021, against the total demand of Rs 58,254 crore and Rs 43,980 crore, respectively. This is despite Vodafone Idea having already paid Rs 7,854 crore and Bharti Airtel Rs 18,004 crore out of their total dues.
There’s no AGR due pending against Reliance Jio.
Earlier this month, Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar had said at a virtual press meet that the SC order allowing 10 years to telcos for clearing the AGR dues was a positive outcome. He had pointed out that the telco had already paid more than 10 per cent of the AGR dues as ordered by the court, giving it time till March 2022 to pay its first instalment.
The SC had last year upheld the DoT definition of AGR, ordering telcos to clear their dues which were estimated at Rs 1.47 trillion. It’s another matter that some of the telcos, which are part of the order, have either shut down, sold their operations or are going through liquidation.