Government not expecting substantial gain from AGR dues in 2020-21

NEW DELHI: It might have sought nearly Rs four lakh crore from telecom and non-telecom firms in previous dues however the government just isn’t anticipating any substantial windfall within the coming yr.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who provisioned Rs 1.three lakh crore in receipts from telecom licence payment and spectrum usage charge for the subsequent monetary yr, stated the federal government is trying to tackle dispute over what revenues needs to be taken for calculating dues in a extra complete method.

In her post-Budget press convention, she stated the difficulty is a posh one and the business gamers are in dialogue with the federal government to resolve it.

“I don’t think I am looking at it purely from what the government will collect. This particular development in the telecom sector is something which all of us has watched, going through the proceedings of the court… it would not be right for me to just comment and say we are looking at this number or that,” Sitharaman stated.

She was replying to a query on enhancing income assortment goal from the debt-ridden telecom sector.

The authorities on Saturday elevated the income estimate from the debt-ridden telecom sector by over two-folds to Rs 1.33 lakh crore for 2020-21 as in comparison with assortment goal within the present monetary yr, primarily on account of adjusted gross income dues.

“It is fairly complex issue. The industry and affected parties are also in touch with the government. we are engaging with them, the department is engaging with them. We will be addressing this in more comprehensive manner,” Sitharaman stated.

The authorities expects a income of Rs 58,686.64 crore below communications head within the present monetary yr as towards a budgeted quantity of Rs 50,519.eight crore in 2019-20.

“Receipts under ‘Other Communication Services’ mainly relate to the licence fees from telecom operators and receipts on account of spectrum usage charges,” the Budget paperwork stated.

The debt-laden telecom business is saddled with Rs 1.47 lakh crore in extra statutory dues within the wake of a current Supreme Court ruling on adjusted gross income (AGR). Telecom firms owe the federal government Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence payment, and one other Rs 55,054 crore in excellent spectrum utilization fees.

The dues of non-telecom public sector companies, together with Oil India, GAIL, and PowerGrid, as per demand raised by the Department of Telecommunications exceed Rs 2.four lakh crore.

ICRA Assistant Vice-President (Corporate Ratings) Ankit Jain stated that regardless of deferral of spectrum funds due within the monetary yr 2020-21 and monetary yr 2021-22, increased budgetary estimates for 2020-21 may be attributable to some participation in 5G spectrum auctions and expectation of funds of AGR-related dues.

According to authorities knowledge, the liabilities within the case of Bharti Airtel add as much as almost Rs 35,586 crore, of which Rs 21,682 crore is licence payment and one other Rs 13,904.01 crore is the SUC dues (excluding the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).

In the case of Vodafone Idea, this quantity stands at a cumulative Rs 53,038 crore, together with Rs 24,729 crore of SUC dues and Rs 28,309 crore in licence payment.

The remaining legal responsibility is with state-owned BSNL and MTNL and a number of the shut or bankrupt telecom firms.

The Supreme Court had allowed three months to the affected telecom operators to cough up the quantities as a result of authorities — whose deadline expired on January 23 — though the DoT didn’t take any coercive motion towards defaulters as their appeals searching for rest in cost timelines in pending within the apex courtroom’s order.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea Ltd and Tata Teleservices have collectively filed a modification software within the Supreme Court searching for extra time to pay the statutory dues.

The contemporary plea for aid on the cost schedule got here after the Supreme Court final month dismissed the overview petitions filed by telecom firms towards the apex courtroom’s October 24, 2019, verdict.

The DoT can be engaged on spectrum public sale, which is prone to be held in April-May 2020.

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