Bharti Airtel Pays Rs 10,000 Crore AGR Dues To Telecom Department
Pedestrians walk past a Bharti Airtel Ltd. store in Mumbai, India, on February 3, 2020. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Bharti Airtel Pays Rs 10,000 Crore AGR Dues To Telecom Department

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd. on Monday said it has paid Rs 10,000 crore in AGR dues to the telecom department. It will pay the balance amount after self assessment exercise.

The move comes days after the Supreme Court threatened to hold India’s beleaguered telecom operators in contempt for not complying with its order to pay thousands of crores worth of dues within the deadline.

"The total amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom and Telenor. “We are in the process of completing self-assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in the Supreme Court,” Bharti Airtel said.

The telecom company said it will also submit supporting details at the time of making balance payment.

On Feb. 14, the government’s Department of Telecommunications started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to telecom firms, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd., to clear AGR dues immediately.

Airtel responded to the DoT order by offering to pay Rs 10,000 crore by Feb. 20 and the remaining before March 17. Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge, to the government.

On Saturday, Vodafone idea said it is assessing the amount it will be able to pay the telecom department in the next few days.

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