With the SC pulling it up for billing Rs 4 lakh crore on non-telecom public sector undertakings (PSUs) towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, the Department of Telecommunications Thursday told the court that it has decided to withdraw 96 per cent of the amount raised. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta conveyed this to a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah.
The Centre has urged the court to allow the companies to make the payment in a staggered manner over the next 20 years.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Vodafone Idea said there was no plan to give any new bank guarantee and said the firm “doesn’t have funds to pay”. The Bench then sought to know what are VIL’s profits and taxes paid in the past five years.
“You are not the only player”, said Justice Mishra. Justice Shah said telecom is the only sector making money during pandemic and it must deposit some amount. The DoT sought time to respond to telcos’ affidavits in how they planned to pay AGR dues.
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