The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has filed a plea in the Supreme Court (SC), seeking permission to allow telecom operators to pay their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues over 20 years at a reduced interest rate of 8 per cent.

The DoT has undertaken the move in a bid to prevent an adverse impact on the economy, jobs and millions of consumers.

According to the plea, the interest on the unpaid amount, penalty and the interest on that penalty will be calculated up to the date of the Supreme Court’s October 24, 2019 ruling. Further, the net present value (NPV) will be protected using the discount rate.

However, telcos shall continue to be liable for interest, penalty and interest on penalty for unpaid dues of licence fee and spectrum usage charge (SUC), which arise prospectively after the date of the Supreme Court judgment, DoT added in its request.

The request, if granted by the Supreme Court can come as a relief to telcos, although the total payout as per DoT’s calculations is higher than the operators’ self-assessed amount.