DoT to issue fresh notice to telcos calling for full payment of AGR dues

The Department of Telecommunications will issue fresh notices to Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices this week for not entirely paying their AGR dues.

While Bharti Airtel paid Rs 10,000 crore on Monday, Vodafone Idea paid Rs 2,500 crore that day and another Rs 1,000 crore on Thusday. In all, it owes Rs 53,000 crore to the Telecom Department.

Meanwhile, Tata Teleservices, which paid Rs 2,197 crore as 'full and final payment' as AGR dues on Monday, will be issued a separate notice seeking full payment of dues as per the Union government's calculation.

DOT had stated the company's dues were to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore.

According to a department official, "Tata Teleservices cannot escape paying the full amount."

DoT claims that the Rs 2,197 crore it paid is only the principal amount. "They are yet to pay the interest on that principal, (along with) penalty and interest on penalty," the official said.

DOT is also awaiting the legal opinion it sought in the matter of AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue).

"We can invoke bank guarantees even now, but we have sought a legal view on whether we should do so before March 17 or not," he added.

Amid the financial stress over payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal and Vodafone Idea Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla met with the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.  

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