Airtel moves SC for government talks on AGR

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel has appealed to the Supreme Court to permit the telco and the federal government to agree on quantum of adjusted gross income (AGR)-based dues that should be paid and the timeline for funds.

The Sunil Mittal-led telco filed an software within the apex court docket earlier this week searching for modification of the court docket’s order of October 24 to allow Airtel and the federal government to establish the quantity to be paid and “a mutually acceptable basis for the discharge of the same” over an agreed time frame. Airtel declined to touch upon the applying, which adopted the submitting of its assessment petition final week.

Lawyers mentioned Airtel is looking for a authorized opening to debate choices with the federal government that will assist soften the monetary blow on mobile phone corporations. The authorities has clearly mentioned it may possibly’t present any reduction on AGR dues until the Supreme Court directs it to.

The Department of Telecommunications calculated Airtel’s AGR dues to be over Rs 35,500 crore in licence charges, spectrum utilization costs, curiosity and penalties. The determine could rise as a result of the ministry continues to be updating its numbers, the federal government has mentioned.

The telco, which posted a lack of over Rs 23,000 crore within the September quarter after provisioning for the potential AGR dues, mentioned its capacity to proceed as a going concern is doubtful if it doesn’t get any reduction on the dues and the timelines. The apex court docket had set a threemonth deadline for fee. Airtel filed a restricted assessment plea in Supreme Court final Friday searching for reconsideration of curiosity, penalties and curiosity on penalties that make up about 75% of AGR dues. It didn’t search a assessment of the timeline. The court docket had backed the telecom division’s definition of AGR, leaving the trade going through extra dues of Rs 1.47 lakh crore. Airtel and Vodafone Idea – with dues exceeding Rs 53,000 crore – are the worst affected. Vodafone Idea has additionally filed for a assessment of some parts that make up AGR.

The court docket is but to confess each the assessment petitions.

As per the communications ministry’s submissions in Parliament, Airtel must pay Rs 21,682 crore as licence charge and Rs 13,904 crore as spectrum utilization costs. Telecom service suppliers together with Airtel pay 8% of AGR as licence charge.

In a letter to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Airtel wished curiosity to be levied solely from the date of the AGR judgment and a 16-year fee interval for all of the dues after a moratorium of two years.

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