In a big move, the Supreme Court has allowed telcos a 10 year timeline for payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related dues.

The three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah has stated that the timeline will begin from April 1, 2021, and the payments can be made in installments till March 31, 2031.

As per media reports, 10 per cent of the dues owed by the telcos will have to be paid upfront; following which installments will have to paid every year by February 7.

Existing bank guarantee given by the telcos will be kept alive and the Managing Director of respective telcos would have to give the undertaking to comply with the schedule.

Telcos have been asked to submit undertaking to pay AGR dues as per the Supreme Court order. Default in payments would invite interest, penalty, along with contempt of court.

Earlier, the government had sought a 20-year time frame for telcos to pay back their AGR dues, while Vodafone Idea had stated that a minimum of 15 years timeline will be crucial for it to sustain operations.

Post today’s judgment, the telcos will decide if they want to file a review petition.