Airtel, Vodafone Idea Put Off AGR Dues Payment Until Supreme Court Hearing Next Week
Vouchers for telecom companies sit inside a box. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Airtel, Vodafone Idea Put Off AGR Dues Payment Until Supreme Court Hearing Next Week

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Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. have told the telecom department that they will pay adjusted gross revenue dues of Rs 88,624 crore only after hearing of their modification plea in the Supreme Court next week, sources said.

The apex court had set Jan. 23 as the deadline to pay AGR dues.

Both the operators have requested the Department of Telecom to give them time to make payments based on the outcome of their modification petition, sources said.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., however, is likely to pay its AGR dues of Rs 177 crore today.

"Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have communicated to the DoT that they will not be making payments on Jan. 23—the last date to clear AGR dues. They have said they will comply with the outcome of modification petition filed before the Supreme Court which is listed for hearing next week," a source said.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecom companies owe the government as much as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past statutory dues.

Tata Communications, in which the government holds 26.12 percent stake, has also made no provision for DoT's demand of Rs 6,633 crore for AGR dues as the Supreme Court order did not include its appeal, which is still pending before the apex court.

The company said it has replied to the demand-cum-notice sent by the DoT in the September quarter of 2019 but has not received any response from the department.

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