Bharti Airtel has self-assessed its AGR dues at Rs 13,004 crore contrary to the government's assessment. The Department of Telecom's estimate is Rs 35,586 crore. Of this, Airtel has paid Rs 18,004 crore already. Airtel says the DoT had not calculated deductions because of the absence of certain documents.
The company was told by the DoT that in such a scenario, it'll add the amount to the total dues and deduct when the company would furnish the documents, The Economic Times cited an official as saying. The company claims the required documents have now been submitted to the DoT, and hence the overall pending AGR dues would come down.
Bharti Airtel paid the second instalment of Rs 8,004 crore towards AGR dues on Saturday. With this, the telecom firm has paid Rs 18,004 crore to the government in compliance with the Supreme Court judgment. On February 17, the Sunil Mittal-led company paid Rs 10,000 crore to the DoT.
The assessment of the dues by the DoT was done for the period 2006-07 to February 2020. The company says though it has complied with the October verdict of the Supreme Court, which directed companies to pay AGR related dues for the last 14 years, its actual dues are one-third of the total amount pegged by the DoT.
So far, Reliance Jio is the only telco which has paid its complete AGR dues of Rs 195 crore. Telecom companies owe Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the DoT, including Rs 92,600 crore as licence fee and Rs 55,100 crore as spectrum usage charges. Vodafone Idea, which has been hit hardest by Supreme Court's AGR verdict, has paid just Rs 3,500 crore of the total Rs 53,000 crore estimated dues. Tata Teleservices, on the other hand, has paid Rs 2,197 crore as per its self-assessment and has submitted details of the AGR calculations to the government.
Vodafone Plc global Chief Executive Officer Nick Read, who's likely to visit India this week, has sought a meeting with Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The telco, which employees over 13,000 direct employees, has already warned that continuous pressure to pay the amount could render 10,000 people jobless and create chaos among its 300 million subscribers in India.
Edited by Manoj Sharma
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