Vodafone Idea has asked for its AGR dues to be adjusted against Rs 7,000 crore owed to it by the tax department. The tax refund is related to a Supreme Court order which clarified that the Vodafone-Hutchison deal was not taxable in India. The telecom operator is looking at a payout of Rs 53,000 crore as pending Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues to the government.
Following a change in the Income-tax Act 2012, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Vodafone-Hutchison deal could not be taxed in India. This resulted in tax refund due to the company from the tax department for several assessment years up to 2004-05.
Vodafone Idea has written to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Income Tax Department, seeking adjustment of its AGR dues against the pending tax refund, a CNBC-TV18 report said.
Apart from adjustment against the tax refund, Vodafone Idea has told the Supreme Court that it can pay Rs 2,500 crore today. The company further added that it will pay another Rs 1,000 crore by February 21. The telecom operator appealed to the Supreme Court that the DoT should not take any coercive action to call forth any bank guarantees as it would further hinder its operations.
However, the apex court denied any extra time to the telecom operator for paying its dues. The Supreme Court also refused to order the telecom department against taking coercive action against Vodafone Idea.
On Friday last week, the Supreme Court lambasted telecom operators for not paying a single penny towards their AGR dues despite its order in this regard. The telecom department also faced the apex court's ire for its order staying coercive action against telcos in the event of non-payment of AGR dues. DoT had withdrawn its 'non coercive action' order immediately. The court has asked telecom players to clear their AGR dues before March 17, the next date of hearing on the matter.
On Monday, Bharti Airtel said that it has paid Rs 10,000 crore to the telecom department as the part amount of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. Its spokesperson confirmed to BusinessToday.In that, it will pay the balance amount after completing the exercise of calculating (AGR) dues across 22 circles which will take at least a week to ten days. The company added that it shall make the payment before the next date of Supreme Court's (SC) hearing which is on March 17.