The AGR saga continues and its next hearing will be on 30th July. This story of Adjusted Gross Revenue from telecom sector has been continuing for the past 16 years.
Supreme Court’s order of October 2019, widened the definition of AGR to include non-core items. Companies like Airtel, Vodafone and others missed the apex court’s deadline of 23rd January to make payments.
After SC’s decision, the Department of Telecommunication estimated that Vodafone Idea owes Rs 58,254 crore and Bharti Airtel owes Rs 43,980 crore. Out of this amount, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have paid Rs 6,354 crore and Rs 18,004 crore respectively.
Both the telecom companies have stated that, currently, they are not in a position to pay statutory dues anymore. Therefore, they have asked for a period of 20 years and offered to pay in a staggered form during that timeline. Supreme Court didn’t accept this plan but have asked the telecoms to present a detailed roadmap of the payment timeline.
Vodafone Idea has voiced their concerns with the decision. They have already warned that they will be forced to shut their shops in the country if asked to pay their dues without being in instalments.
Telecom experts believe that while Bharti Airtel can manage to clear the dues, Vodafone Idea’s financial position looks uncertain.