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SC hearing on AGR issue today; to decide on dues by telcos facing insolvency

SC had earlier said it wanted to know who was using spectrum of insolvent companies; resolution professionals of all insolvent telecom companies were asked to furnish details on use of spectrum

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | August 17, 2020 | Updated 12:51 IST
SC hearing on AGR issue today; to decide on dues by telcos facing insolvency
RCom and Aircel RPs were told to share details on entities that have placed bids under IBC

The Supreme Court will hold another hearing on the AGR issue at 3 PM today. The apex court had on Friday adjourned the hearing to August 17, seeking details of the spectrum sharing agreements entered into by all insolvent companies.

The Supreme Court had said it wanted to know who was using the spectrum of insolvent companies. Resolution Professionals of all insolvent telecom companies were asked to furnish details on the use of spectrum. Reliance Communications and Aircel RPs were told to share details on entities that have placed bids under the IBC.

Reliance Jio and Reliance Communications were also directed to share details of spectrum sharing arrangement between the two. The SC had said the government must come prepared with a recovery plan of dues from the telcos under insolvency and whether spectrum given to these companies can be sold.

Also read: AGR case: SC adjourns hearing to Monday, asks for spectrum sharing details

The DoT has told the top court the spectrum can't be sold by the telecom companies facing insolvency proceedings as it's not their property. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today dismissed public interest litigation, seeking instructions for the authorities to make immediate arrangements for recovery of AGR dues from telcos.

On July 20, the SC reserved its order on permitting telecom companies to make staggered payments of AGR dues over 15 years. The three-judge bench had last month said that there would be no reassessment of the AGR dues calculated by the DoT and that it will only consider the timeline.

Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel are two telcos to face huge monetary burden due to AGR. So far, Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 7,854 crore of its Rs 50,399 crore dues. Bharti Airtel owes Rs 43,780 crore, of which it has paid Rs 18,004 crore.

Also read: RCom insolvency to fall apart if spectrum not part of its assets: SBI tells SC

Also read: Airtel needs to tackle AGR crisis, tepid revenues before taking on Jio

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