AGR case update: Telecos to clear dues in ten years, first instalment by Mar 31 2021
New Delhi, Sep 01: The Supreme Court has granted the telecom companies to clear the AGR dues in ten years time. The court however directed the companies to deposit the first instalment of the 10 per cent of their dues by March 31 2021.
The SC also said that the telecom companies will have to face contempt proceedings and also have to pay a penalty in case of default payment of annual instalment.
Further the court also declined to adjudicate the issue on whether the spectrum could be subject to insolvency proceedings and asked the NCLAT to decide whether the spectrum of insolvent telecom companies could be sold in the insolvency proceedings.
The court was delivering the verdict on a possible timeline for staggered payment of the Adjusted Gross Revenue data of around Rs 1.6 lakh crore by the telecom companies.
The court on June 18 asked Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservice to submit financial statements and books of accounts of the last 10 years. Bharti Airtel owes a sum of about Rs 44,000 crore whereas Vodafone Idea owes a sum of about Rs 58,000 crore.
The top court had taken the submission of the Centre that there were moratorium in place with regard to some companies like RCom and Videocon as insolvency proceedings against them have started.
The Centre had earlier urged the top court that up to 20 years be given to telecom companies for the payment of dues in a staggered manner.
On June 18, the top court was informed by the Centre that the DoT has decided to withdraw 96 per cent of the Rs 4 lakh crore demand for AGR related dues raised against non-telecom PSUs like GAIL.
The court had in October 2019 delivered the verdict on the AGR issue for calculating government dues of telecom companies such as licence fee and spectrum usage charges.
After the top court had rejected pleas by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices seeking review of the judgement which widened the definition of AGR by including non-telecom revenues, the DoT had in March moved a plea seeking staggered payment over 20 years.