Amid ongoing controversy over the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio has reportedly cleared its dues to Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The telecom arm of Reliance Industries has paid Rs 195 crore to the DoT to clear outstanding dues until January 31, 2020.
The AGR issue involving top telecom companies has intensified in recent past, with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea moving Supreme Court for seeking an extension of the January 23 deadline to pay revenue dues. The Supreme Court had set January 23 as the deadline to pay AGR dues.
Meanwhile, rival Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are likely to miss the January 23 deadline to pay the AGR charges due to the upcoming Supreme Court hearing. The operators had filed a petition in the apex court, seeking an extension of the deadline to pay revenue dues. Tata Tele, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, has also moved the court seeking more time to make payment.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court accepted the modification petition filed by telecom operators Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Tata Teleservices on giving them more time to pay off AGR related dues. The telecom companies have statutory dues of Rs 1.47 lakh crore that they need to pay to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Of this, the telecom companies owe Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee, and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.
As per estimates, Airtel has total dues of Rs 35,586 crore while Vodafone Idea's dues stand at Rs 53,038 crore.
In its previous order on October 24 last year, the Supreme Court had asked telcos to pay up their AGR dues within 90 days. The AGR dispute dates back to 2003 when the association of telecom operators filed the first plea with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) challenging the definition of AGR. As per standard accounting practice, companies have to make provisions for such claims.
By Chitranjan Kumar