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AGR case: Telecom stocks tumble after SC rejects plea to recompute dues; Tata Teleservices, Rcom hit lower circuit

The AGR case order is a blow to telecom service providers. According to the DoT, Bharti Airtel owes over Rs 43,000 crore in dues, while Vodafone Idea has a balance payment of more than Rs 50,000 crore

July 23, 2021 / 12:28 PM IST
Telecom (Image: Pixabay)

Telecom (Image: Pixabay)

Telecom stocks took a hit on July 23 morning after the Supreme Court rejected Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices' application seeking re-computation of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR)–related dues.

The share price of telecom major Bharti Airtel was trading at Rs 554.15, up Rs 7.65, or 1.40 percent. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 560.50 and an intraday low of Rs 532.85.

Vodafone Idea stock was trading at Rs 8.58, down Rs 0.67, or 7.24 percent. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 9.54 and an intraday low of Rs 7.87.

TataTeleservice was down 5 percent at Rs 37.65, down Rs 1.95, or 4.92 percent. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 39.20 and an intraday low of Rs 37.65. There were pending sell orders of 512,711 shares, with no buyers available.

Reliance Communications stock was down 5 percent as well, trading at Rs 3.60, down Rs 0.18, or 4.76 percent. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 3.60 and an intraday low of Rs 3.60. There were pending sell orders of 11,454,836 shares, with no buyers available.

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The case was being heard by a bench comprising Justices LN Rao and Hrishikesh Roy. The court had in 2020 given 10 years to telecom service providers struggling to pay Rs 93,520 crore in AGR dues to clear their outstanding amount to the government.

The bench referred to the court’s earlier order and observed that it had said that no re-assessment of AGR-related dues could be done.

In their plea, the telecom majors raised the issue of alleged errors in calculating the dues demanded by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).

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According to the DoT, Bharti Airtel owes over Rs 43,000 crore in AGR dues, while Vodafone Idea has a balance payment of more than Rs 50,000 crore.

Burdened with the claim, the telcos had appealed to the Supreme Court to provide the option of staggered payments over either 20 years or 10 years. Vodafone-Idea had argued that the only way to repay such a huge sum would be to “earn and pay”.

The Solicitor General told the court that the DoT had not shared any instructions on allowing correction of errors, and the apex court, too, had on three occasions held that the AGR demand couldn’t be recomputed.

Disclosure: MoneyControl is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.
Sandip Das
first published: Jul 23, 2021 11:22 am

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