The Supreme Court will hear review petitions filed by telecom companies against its verdict on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) on 17 March 2020.
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A three-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah also directed the presence of all Directors of the telcos, including the Managing Director, on the next date of hearing.
Justice Arun Mishra had granted a period of 90 days to the telecom companies to pay the dues sought from them on account of the new meaning of Adjusted Gross Revenue in the month of October 2019.
This period of 90 days already expired on 24 January 2020. The telecom companies approached the Supreme Court seeking a modification of this order. The applications filed by the various companies are on similar lines and seek to negotiate the schedule for payment of these dues with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Bharti Airtel said that 90 days is not enough time to undergo the process of evaluating dues and the payment of them. It also added that irreparable damage may be caused to the telecom industry at large.
Vodafone stated that the financial stress the company was facing and said that it was not in a position to make a payment upfront, or provide a bank guarantee. Vodafone also said, the impending job losses the current situation is likely to cause.
After Supreme Court rap, DoT orders telcos to clear AGR dues by 11.59 pm today.
The order issued on 14 February 2020 by the UP (West) Telecom Circle asked all telecom service providers to clear AGR dues by today midnight.
“With reference to subject cited above, you are hereby directed to make the payment of outstanding dues of licence fee and spectrum usage charges by 14.02.2020, 11:59 PM positively,” it said.
The Supreme Court on 14 February 2020 (Friday) has directed the managing directors and directors of telcos and other firms to explain why contempt action be not taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the Department of Telecommunications.
Bharti Airtel’s liabilities added up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues. But, Airtel had already said that the previously-mentioned material uncertainty on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern “no longer exists” after the recent Rs 21,502 crore fund raising by it.
Airtel to pay AGR dues of Rs 10,000 Crore by 20 February and balance by 17 March 2020.
Vodafone Idea is staring at dues worth Rs 53,000 crore that includes up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee, and the company had earlier warned of shutdown if no relief was given.