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Bharti Airtel share price hits all-time high after telco pays Rs 10,000 crore in dues to govt

BusinessToday.In     February 17, 2020

Bharti Airtel share price hit its all-time high in early trade today after Sunil Bharti Mittal-led telco said it has paid Rs 10,000 crore to the telecom department toward adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. Share price of Bharti Airtel hit fresh high of Rs 568.60 compared to the previous close of Rs 565.10. Bharti Airtel stock opened lower at Rs 564.25 on BSE. 3.75 lakh shares of the telco changed hands amounting to turnover of Rs 21.29 crore on BSE.

Market cap of the firm stood at Rs 3.07 lakh crore. On February 14, market cap of the telco crossed the key Rs 3 lakh crore mark. 22 of 27 brokerages rate the stock "buy" or 'outperform', four "hold" and one "underperform, according to analysts' recommendations tracked by Reuters.

AGR crisis: SBI prepared for the worst, says Rajnish Kumar

However, the stock fell 0.25% to Rs 563 in afternoon session on profit-booking. The telco said it would make payment of the balance amount after self assessment exercise. "The total amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor. We are in the process of completing the self assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in the SC," Bharti Airtel said.

AGR-hit telcos set for another jolt; must pay additional service tax, GST on unpaid dues

On Friday, Supreme Court (SC) dismissed all fresh petitions filed by telcos such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea among others in a case related to payment of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues. The pleas filed by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, and Tata Teleservices sought more time for payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related dues.

Telcos including Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Telenor, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications were collectively liable to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the government at the earliest after the Supreme Court rebuked them for not paying the outstanding AGR dues by the deadline it had set.

AGR crisis: Vodafone Idea to pay govt dues in next few days

The telecom companies wanted to negotiate a fresh payment schedule with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which has issued demand notices to them. After the SC hearing, DoT issued fifth and final notice to telecom operators on February 14 for making payment on the same day but none of the companies paid the dues.

Airtel had previously responded to DoT order by offering to pay Rs 10,000 crore by February 20 and the remaining before March 17. Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge, to the government.

By Aseem Thapliyal

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