DoT to take no coercive action against telcos for missing AGR deadline

The Licensing Finance Policy Wing (LFPW) of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has communicated to the controller of communications accounts (CCA) in different circles that they should, till further orders, take no “coercive action” against telecom operators if they fail to comply with the Supreme Court order on repayment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. 

After the Supreme Court’s AGR order, telcos were required to pay Rs 1.47 trillion by 24 January, a deadline set by the apex court. 

The DoT move provides a major relief to telcos, as three leading players — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea Ltd and the Tata group (which does not have any telecom operations now) have informed DoT through separate letters that they will comply with the Supreme Court order on AGR dues, but they will wait until next week, when their “modification” petition will be heard by the Supreme Court, before making the payment. That means they are set to skip the 24 January deadline. 

In its communication, the licensing wing has stated that access service licensees have already been informed to make payments to the DoT headquarters.  

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio Infocomm, part of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries group and a challenger to Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, has paid Rs 195 crore to DoT to clear all its AGR dues until January 31, according to official sources.

 



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