Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 1,000 crore on Thursday as part of its pending AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues to Department of Telecom, PTI said citing sources. The latest round of instalment follows after the telco paid Rs 2,500 crore to the DoT on Monday as the Supreme Court issued "contempt" warning against telecom companies and DoT officials.
The amount paid so far is still way below its total pending AGR dues of Rs 53,000 crore. Vodafone Idea has already warned that it'll have no option but to shut operations if it pays all pending dues. The SC had earlier also rejected Vodafone's plea seeking "no coercive action" to recover the pending dues. As per the latest SC ruling, telcos have to pay up the pending dues by March 17.
The SC's order on Monday has hastened the crisis for telcos facing revenue losses every quarter. Bharti Airtel and Tata Group also made payments of Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 2,197 crore, respectively, on Monday.
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. Bharti Airtel owes Rs 35,600 crore, while Vodafone Idea has to pay Rs 53,000 crore.
Reliance Communication has pending dues worth Rs 21,200 crore and Tata Group has to pay Rs 13,800 crore. Of the total pending amount, Vodafone Idea and Airtel collectively have to pay Rs 88,600 crore.
The amount is supposed to go up as the DoT is in the process of calculating AGR dues for FY18 and FY19. Notably, the DoT has so far demanded AGR dues, including licence fees, interest and penalties, till 2016-17 only, while spectrum charges worth Rs 55,100 crore have been calculated till FY19. The jacked-up AGR numbers could also start another round of litigation between the DoT and telcos, which are already bearing the brunt of SC's October 24 ruling.
Edited by Manoj Sharma