AGR: ‘Take a look at checks’ on AGR-hit telcos’ dues evaluation could begin this week: DoT sources

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NEW DELHI: The “take a look at checks” as promised by the federal government on AGR-hit telecom corporations’ dues evaluation may begin this week for giant telcos, in keeping with a senior DoT official.

The federal government additionally needs Vodafone Concept to expedite its self-assessment, and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash is believed to have communicated DoT’s views on this regard to VIL, CEO and MD Ravinder Takkar throughout a latest assembly on Friday night.

A DoT official mentioned that “take a look at checks” of AGR calculation for a pattern 12 months would begin shortly and it could possibly be as early as this week not less than for giant telecom corporations.

On Saturday, telecom operator Bharti Airtel mentioned it has made cost of Rs 8,004 crore in the direction of adjusted gross income (AGR) dues to the federal government, an quantity over and above Rs 10,000 crore it has already paid.

The quantity of Rs 8,004 crore consists of Rs 3,004 crore in the direction of full and ultimate settlement on AGR dues primarily based on self evaluation, and a deposit of buffer Rs 5,000 crore to cowl DoT’s reconciliation variations.

“Primarily based on the aforesaid cost we have now now complied with AGR judgement and the instructions within the order of the Supreme Courtroom dated October 24, 2019,” Airtel mentioned in a regulatory submitting.

In accordance with the Division of Telecom (DoT) estimates, nevertheless, Airtel owes practically Rs 35,000 crore.

DoT can be asking three telecom corporations Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Concept and Tata Teleservices to offer substantiating paperwork to help their claims on AGR arithmetic.

As soon as substantiating paperwork are filed by the businesses, the telecom division will provoke random ‘take a look at checks’ on the AGR calculation in a time-bound method.

The ‘take a look at examine’ will probably be achieved for anyone 12 months (of telcos’ dues) to look at the deviation between telecom corporations’ evaluation and the federal government’s personal calculation of AGR liabilities.

In all, 15 entities owe the federal government Rs 1.47 lakh crore in unpaid statutory dues — Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence price and one other Rs 55,054 crore in excellent spectrum utilization fees.

Of the estimated dues that embrace curiosity and penalty for late funds, Airtel and Vodafone Concept account for about 60 per cent.

These dues arose after the Supreme Courtroom, in October final 12 months, upheld the federal government’s place on together with income from non-core companies in calculating the annual AGR of telecom corporations, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum price to the exchequer.

The Supreme final month rejected a plea by cellular carriers reminiscent of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Concept for extension within the cost schedule and requested corporations to deposit their previous dues for spectrum and licences.

Since then, telecom corporations and the telecom ministry had been doing separate maths on the precise dues.

Vodafone Concept, which is confronted with Rs 53,000 crore in statutory dues as per DoT’s calculation, has up to now paid solely seven per cent of these dues in two tranches. Airtel has paid over Rs 18,000 crore out of its DoT estimated legal responsibility of over Rs 35,000 crore.

Tata Teleservices has paid Rs 2,197 crore, the complete excellent it believes to have arisen after the October ruling of the apex courtroom for calculating dues.

Each Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal and Vodafone Concept Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla continued to fulfill {top} authorities functionaries over the previous few days to hunt immediate measures that may supply a breather to the troubled sector.

Mittal has urged the federal government for discount in levies and taxes, as he termed the AGR “an unprecedented disaster for business”.

Even because the AGR-crisis has pushed telcos to the brink, the essential assembly of Digital Communications Fee (DCC) on Friday mentioned choices on aid to the distressed telecom sector however couldn’t arrive at a choice, as authorities {officials} mentioned extra particulars are required for reconciliation of information on statutory dues.

Telecom corporations have been desparately ready for a bailout package deal from the Authorities after an SC-order on statutory dues, and all eyes have been on the DCC meet for the much-needed breather to repair the AGR imbroglio.



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