The Supreme Court has refused to entertain any objection to the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related demand and has ruled out any possibility of a reassessment or recalculation by telcos.
The telecom operators had stated that dues payable should be limited to only license fee and spectrum usage charges should not be included in the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) demand. As per Airtel, the dues payable by the operator should be Rs 210 billion, much less than what has been demanded by DoT.
Taking a strong stance, the apex court has asked telcos to treat the calculation given by DoT as final, with no scope of re-assessment.
Meanwhile, the apex court has reserved the order on the staggered payment timeline issue. Airtel and Vodafone have sought a 15 year time period for paying the outstanding dues. However, the Supreme Court has observed that telcos should be reasonable in seeking time extension as 20 years is too long.
Vodafone Idea continues to be the worst hit by the Supreme Court’s AGR order. In today’s hearing the operator has stated that it has no assets left but spectrum. It has stated that b anks have refused to lend money to it. The telco has requested that GST refunds worth Rs 80 billion accrued to it be retained by the government to be adjusted against AGR payments.
The Supreme Court has now scheduled the next hearing for August 10, 2020. Further, it will consider the issue of companies under liquidation on August 19, 2020.
As per DoT, Airtel owes a sum of Rs 437.80 billion; of which Rs 180.04 billion has been paid till date. Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 78.54 billion and still owes Rs 503.99 billion while TTSL has paid Rs 41.97 billion and owe Rs 126.01 billion.