The three major telcos, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, and Vodafone Idea Tuesday deposited Rs 1,950 crore, Rs 1,053 crore, and Rs 3,043 crore, respectively, as deferred spectrum payment with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Deferred spectrum payment is a routine payment to be made to the DoT for airwaves bought by the respective telcos in spectrum auctions and is different from the adjusted gross revenue dues to be made by telcos.
Earlier in the day, Tata Teleservices said it had paid Rs 2,000 crore on an ad-hoc basis as part of its AGR dues “in good faith” to the DoT, which is subject to reconciliation by the ministry.
The payment by Tata Teleservices follows a similar payment done by Bharti Airtel. The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led company on Saturday informed the stock exchanges that it had paid an additional Rs 3,004 crore as part of its AGR dues, thereby completing its compliance of SC’s October 24 judgment.
The company said it had also deposited with DoT an additional sum of Rs 5000 crore as ad-hoc payment to cover any differences that may arise from the reconciliation exercise being undertaken by the ministry.
The total payment made by Bharti Airtel is half of the government’s calculations on the AGR dues payable by the company. The DoT has estimated that Bharti Airtel’s needs to pay more than Rs 36,000 crore as AGR dues
The DoT is currently in process of calculating the AGR dues owed by the telcos. It had last week asked the companies to send documents supporting their assessment of AGR, which in most cases is nearly half or one-third of the dues calculated by the telecom ministry.
On October 24, 2019, the SC upheld the DoT’s definition of AGR and said since the licencees had agreed to the migration packages, they were liable to pay the dues, the penalty on dues, and the interest on penalty due to delay in payments. The apex court had then given the telcos three months to clear their AGR dues.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines