Airtel Said to Tell DoT It Won’t Pay AGR Dues Until Supreme Court Verdict

Bharti Airtel on Thursday told the Department of Telecom that it will not clear any AGR arrears until the Supreme Court hearing next week.

“Airtel has written to DoT that it will not be making the AGR dues payment today and wait till next hearing of the Supreme Court on its modification petition,” the sources said.

With this, none of the telcos will be paying as the January 23 deadline ends as per the October 24 apex court order and will wait till next week for their next course of action depending on the outcome of the hearing.

Vodafone Idea had informed the DoT the same thing.

Airtel AGR dues are Rs. 35,586 crores and Vodafone Idea has to pay Rs. 52,039 crores.

Vodafone Idea, Bharti Telecom, and Tata Teleservices have to pay a total Rs. 1,02,000 crores in AGR-related dues.

On Wednesday, the top court agreed to hear next week the modification pleas filed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to allow the telcos to negotiate with the DoT on conditions and payment schedules of the statutory dues.

Last week, the court had rejected a review petition filed by the telcos on the October verdict, which widened the definition of AGR.

The telecom sector companies owe the government about Rs. 1,47,000 crores.

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