Airtel, Vodafone Idea must pay Rs 85,000 cr by midnight

Airtel & Vodafone Idea pay must Rs 85,000 cr by midnight, DoT orders

After facing Supreme Court ire, the Department of Telecom has directed the companies such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues before Friday midnight.

The DOT has issued circle wise demand notice to telecom firms asking them to pay the payment of outstanding dues of licence fee and spectrum usage charges by 14.02.2020, 11:59 PM positively.

Total 15 entities owe the government Rs 1.47 lakh crore -- Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges. 

The demand notice was also issued to all the telecom firms, who have AGR dues including state-owned BSNL/MTNL.

The development followed after the telecom department earlier on Friday withdrew its order that asked for no coercive action against telecom companies defaulting on statutory dues payment.

The DOT was forced to withdraw the circular after the Apex Court took a strong view of non-compliance in payment of dues by telecom companies.

Separately, Bharti Airtel on Friday offered the DOT to pay Rs 10,000 crore by February 20 and the rest of the dues before the next date of hearing on the adjusted gross revenue case in the Supreme Court.

“Nevertheless, in compliance with the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and their direction today, we shall deposit a sum of Rs 10,000 crore (on account) by 20th February 2020, on behalf of the Bharti Group companies," Airtel said in a letter to Member (Finance) at the DoT.

Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge, to the government.

The company also said that it is in the process of completing the self-assessment exercises.

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