Bharti Airtel Offers To Pay Rs 10,000 Crore Of Total AGR Dues By Feb. 20
Pedestrians walk past an advertisement for Bharti Airtel Ltd. in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Bharti Airtel Offers To Pay Rs 10,000 Crore Of Total AGR Dues By Feb. 20

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd. on Friday told the telecom department it can pay Rs 10,000 crore of its total AGR dues by Feb. 20.

The firm also expressed confidence that it will be able to pay the rest before the annual gross revenue matter comes up for hearing in the Supreme Court on March 17.

After facing ire of the Supreme Court, the Department of Telecomunications on Friday directed all telecom operators, including Vodafone Idea Ltd., to clear their dues by midnight.

"Nevertheless, in compliance with the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and their direction today, we shall deposit a sum of Rs 10,000 crore (on account) by 20th February, 2020, on behalf of the Bharti Group companies," Airtel said in a letter to Member (Finance) at the DoT.

Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore in AGR dues, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge, to the government.

The telecom firm said that as directed by the Member (Finance), the company is in the process of completing the self assessment exercises. "You will appreciate this is a complicated process, covering 22 circles, multiple licences and a substantial period of time and hence, is time consuming," the letter said.

Telecom operators were required to clear their dues by Jan. 23 as per the Supreme Court’s Oct. 24 ruling in the AGR case.

The top court has directed the managing directors and directors of telecom firms and other firms to explain why contempt action shouldn’t be taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay AGR dues of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the government.

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