Airtel to Pay Rs. 10,000 Crores as Part of AGR Dues by February 20

Bharti Airtel on Friday informed the Department of Telecom (DoT) that it is currently in the process of completing a self-assessment exercise as per the earlier DoT direction on AGR quantum to be paid to the government and would deposit Rs. 10,000 crores by February 20 as part of the payment. Airtel further said that self-assessment of 22 circles and licences is a complicated time consuming process.

“Nevertheless, in compliance with the judgement of the Supreme Court on Friday, we shall deposit a sum of Rs. 10,000 crore by February 20 on behalf of Bharti group of companies — Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor India.

“We are confident that we will complete the self-assessment exercise shortly and make the balance payment before the next date of hearing fixed by the SC,” Airtel said in a letter to DoT. The next hearing is on March 17.

The DoT on Friday directed all telcos licensees to make immediate payment in compliance with the Supreme Court order of October 24 last year.

As directed by the court, the DoT on Friday withdrew its earlier directions granting protection to telcos from coercive action against defaulting telcos after the Supreme Court on the same day took a strong view of non-compliance of its order on payment of statutory dues by telcos.

The DoT withdrew its order immediately after the Supreme Court directed the managing directors and directors of telcos and other firms to explain why contempt action be not taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of Rs. 1.47 lakh crores to the DoT.

As per the DoT calculation, Airtel has to pay Rs. 35,500 crores, Vodafone Idea Rs. 53,000 crores, and Tata Teleservices a little over Rs. 12,500 crore as AGR dues.

But the telcos can do self-assessment and bring discrepancies to DoT’s notice if they find anything for scrutiny as directed by DOT in its earlier communication to the telcos.

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