SC to pronounce judgment on Airtel, Voda-Idea plea seeking recomputation of AGR dues today
While Vodafone has claimed it is about to go under, citing dues of Rs 1.8 lakh crore and sought correction of arithmetic errors, Bharti has claimed duplication, unaccounted payments, and disallowed deductions.
July 22, 2021 / 07:32 AM IST
File image of the Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India will pronounce its judgment on the Airtel, Voda-Idea plea seeking recomputation of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues on July 22, CNBC-TV18 reported.
While Vodafone has claimed it is about to go under, citing dues of Rs 1.8 lakh crore and sought correction of arithmetic errors, Bharti Airtel has claimed duplication, unaccounted payments, and disallowed deductions.
Three telecom companies -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Tata Teleservices -- had appealed to the Supreme Court to allow them to make staggered AGR payments. They had also sought correction to calculation errors made by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) in its AGR demand.
According to the DoT, Bharti Airtel owes over Rs 43,000 crore as AGR dues, while Vodafone Idea has a balance payment of more than Rs 50,000 crore.
In October 2020, the top court had upheld the Government of India’s position on the calculation of statutory liabilities. The Centre had suggested that revenue from non-core businesses should also be included in arriving at the annual AGR amount. A part of this amount is paid by telecom companies as license and spectrum fee to the exchequer.
Burdened with the claim from the DoT, 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 top court had in September 2020 permitted telecom companies to clear AGR payments in installments over 10 years, starting from March 31, 2021.