The Supreme Court (SC) on September 1 pronounced a verdict in the AGR case. An SC bench led by Justice Arun Mishra allowed 10 years for staggered payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by telecom companies.
Telecom companies, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and others had appealed to the Supreme Court to allow them to make staggered payments of their adjusted gross revenue dues. The SC had in October 2019 upheld the expanded definition of AGR as given by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
As per the DoT assessment, the total amount due by top telecom operators was Rs 1.19 lakh crore.
Bharti Airtel owed Rs 43,989 crore, Vodafone Idea (Rs 58254 crore) and Tata Teleservices (Rs 16,798 crore).
Dues for insolvent companies were also identified. As per the assessment, telecom companies that have now gone bankrupt had dues of about Rs 40,000 crore. As per the assessment, Aircel dues stand at Rs 12,289 crore, Videocon at Rs 1,376 and Reliance Communications at Rs 25,199 crore.
Here are the key takeaways from the Supreme Court judgment on AGR case:
> The staggered payment schedule will begin from April 1, 2021.
> SC said that no dispute regarding the revaluation of AGR dues will be allowed.
> The top court has also directed telecom companies to pay 10 percent of the AGR dues upfront.
> Telcos also have to submit an undertaking to pay AGR dues as per the SC order. Default in payments would invite interest, penalty, along with contempt of court, the SC said.
> The date fixed for the annual instalment of AGR dues to be paid by telecom companies is February 7, the SC said.> The existing bank guarantee will be kept alive and Managing Directors of the telecom companies will have to furnish personal guarantees as well as an undertaking to comply with the SC schedule.