Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are exploring the option to file a curative petition after the apex court has rejected their plea to review its order on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).
Airtel has expressed its disappointment on the development. In a press statement, the telco has stated that it believed the long-standing disputes raised regarding the AGR definition were bonafide and genuine. “The industry continues to face severe financial stress and the outcome could further erode the viability of the sector as a whole. The industry needs to continue to invest in expanding networks, acquiring spectrum and introducing new technologies like 5G. The money now required to pay punitive interest, penalty and interest on the penalty which forms nearly 75 per cent of AGR dues would have better served the digital mission of the country. We are evaluating filing a curative petition.”, reads the statement.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea is also likely to file a curative petition. Besides, the telco would also approach the Supreme Court requesting for extension in timeline to pay the dues.
If the telcos fail to meet the January 23, 2019 payment deadline, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will send demand notices and may exercise its option of invoking bank guarantees and revoking permits as a last resort.