The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has ordered firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues before Friday (February 14) midnight.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court had slammed telecom companies for not paying dues worth thousands of crores to the government and summoned their top executives to explain why they did not follow the court's order to pay up.
The apex court also came down heavily on the government official who issued an order saying the recovery order of the AGR won't be operational.
SC 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 crore to the DoT.
Following the SC order, the telecom department had withdrawn its order that asked for no coercive action against telecom companies defaulting on statutory dues payment.
The DoT has started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to firms, an order seen by PTI said. The order asked telcos to clear dues by 11.59 pm Friday.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah heard a batch of petitions filed by telecom companies seeking more time for payment of the AGR related dues, in open court on February 14.
Vodafone Idea, which is staring at statutory dues of about Rs 53,000 crore announced it has postponed its post-earnings conference call with analysts, which was earlier scheduled for Friday.
The Rs 53,000 crore dues include up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee, and the company had earlier warned of shutdown if no relief was given.
Rival Bharti Airtel's liabilities added up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues. But, Airtel had already said that the previously-mentioned material uncertainty on the group's ability to continue as a going concern "no longer exists" after the recent Rs 21,502 crore fundraising by it.
With inputs from PTI