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Big day for Airtel, Vodafone Idea! Supreme Court to give verdict on payment tenure of AGR dues

BusinessToday.In     August 10, 2020

The Supreme Court on Monday is expected to announce its decision on the issue of tenure of payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. In its last hearing, held in July, the Supreme Court had reserved its order on a petition related to allowing telcos to make staggered payments of AGR over a 20-year period.

The three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah had last month said that there would be no reassessment of the AGR dues calculated by the department of telecommunications (DoT). The Supreme Court had then said there is "no going back" on the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) demand on the AGR issues and 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.

During the last hearing, Vodafone had revised the demand to 15 from 20 years after the Supreme Court said that telcos should seek a reasonable time for payout as 20 years is too long a period. Bharti Airtel had requested for a 15-year window to clear the dues.

On October 24, the apex court had upheld the government's broader definition of AGR. The court had also said that private telecom companies including Vodafone Idea must come out with a reasonable payment plan and make a minimum payment to "show their bonafide".

Also read: Vodafone Idea pays Rs 1,000 crore in AGR dues; total payout reaches Rs 7,854 crore

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

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