The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will, this week, issue fresh notices to telecom companies seeking details of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) calculations as it has found discrepancies in the amount paid by the telcos and the sum sought by the government.
"We have so far received Rs 24000 crore from the companies, which is way less than the amount that we had arrived at. They will have to explain it to us as to how they arrived at their numbers," a senior DoT official said.
Bharti Airtel, on February 29, said it had finished assessing dues related to AGR that it owes the government. According to the the company's self-assessment exercise, the dues amount to Rs 13,004 crore which it has already paid off.
According to government calculations, the Sunil Bharti Mittal-led company owed Rs 35,500 crore to the DoT.
The assessment of dues was done for the period 2006-07 to February 2020.
Bharti Airtel had earlier this month paid Rs 10,000 crore to the DoT. It has also paid the balance of Rs 3,004 crore.
With this, the company said, it had complied with the October verdict of the Supreme Court which directed companies to pay AGR related dues for the last 14 years.
In addition to Rs 13,004 crore, Bharti Airetl has also paid Rs 5,000 crore as “an ad-hoc payment subject to subsequent refund/adjustment" to cover differences arising of any arising from the reconciliation exercise with the DoT.
Last week, DoT had asked all operators to speed up their self-assessment of AGR dues and submit documents backing their calculations, even after Bharti Airtel Ltd, Tata Teleservices Ltd and Vodafone Idea made partial payments.
The government is exploring the possibility of roping in third-party audit firms to reconcile dues payable by telecom operators after differences emerged in calculations made by the government and telcos, Mint reported on 21 February.
Last October, the Supreme Court had upheld the government’s definition of AGR, which it uses to calculate levies on telecom operators. The order dealt a blow to the telecom industry, which had for years argued that AGR should only include revenue from core telecom operations.
Telecom operators now have to pay dues of the past 14 years with interest and fines.