Government Nets Rs 32,000 crore From Telecom Companies Towards AGR And Spectrum Fee Dues

Government Nets Rs 32,000 crore From Telecom Companies Towards AGR And Spectrum Fee Dues(representative image)(Pexels/Pixabay)

As of today (4 March), the Union Government has received nearly Rs 32,000 crore from telecom companies towards their AGR and statutory dues, The Economic Times reported.

The dues collected includes Rs 6,046 crore that came in as statutory spectrum payment.

On 14 February the Supreme Court had rapped the government for not collecting the AGR dues by the earlier due date and directed that dues will need to be paid up by the next hearing day scheduled on 17 March.

Of this, Rs 8,046 crore that government has so far collected this week, Tata group paid Rs 2,000 crore towards the AGR demand on Monday (3 March). Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio paid Rs 6,046 crore towards their statutory spectrum payout on Tuesday.

In the union budget, the government has budgeted for Rs 59,000 crore revenue from the telecom sector through licence fee and spectrum charges. However the additional mobilisation through AGR could help government bridge its deficit at a time when revenue collection has taken a hit due to economic slowdown.

The DoT has raised a demand for Rs 1.47 lakh-crore AGR dues from telecom providers. The companies haves so far cumulatively paid Rs 26,000 crore setting a stage for the next hearing at the apex court

In an exchange filing on Saturday (29 February), Airtel said it calculated the liabilities on self assessment basis till 31 December 2019 and the payment includes interest up to 29 February 2020.

"Accordingly the company paid an additional amount of Rs 3,004 crore towards the full and final amounts due over and above ad-hoc amount of Rs 10,000 crore paid on February 17, 2020 on behalf of Bharti Group of companies," the filing said. The payment included liabilities on Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom and Telenor India.

"We have also deposited an additional amount of Rs 5,000 crore, as an ad-hoc payment (subject to the subsequent refund/adjustment to cover differences, if any arising from the reconciliation exercise with the DoT," Airtel said.

Bharati Airtel has so far paid Rs 18,004 crore towards its AGR dues while paying Rs 1,950 crore towards spectrum dues.

Troubled telecom provider Vodafone Idea has so far paid Rs 3,500 crore towards its AGR dues while paying Rs 3,043 crore towards spectrum dues.

Tata Teleservices has so far paid Rs 4,197 crore towards its AGR dues. Reliance Jio has already paid its entire AGR dues of Rs 195 crore and settled its spectrum fees dues at Rs 1,053 crore.