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Sunil Mittal says Airtel has paid full AGR dues of Rs 13,000 crore

Says SC order did not specify quantum of dues to be paid

Adjusted gross revenue | Bharti Airtel | Sunil Mittal

Megha Manchanda  |  New Delhi 

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises

Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal on Wednesday said the firm has paid its full (AGR) dues of Rs 13,000 crore. He said the order on the matter did not indicate the amount of dues.

Mittal, who met with Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash on Wednesday, said Airtel had paid the dues in accordance with its self-assessment. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked the firms to assess AGR dues themselves.

“We have paid Rs 13,000 crore according to the assessment and another Rs 5,000 crore as part of reconciliation to the DOT,” Mittal said. When asked if the company had received any notice from the government seeking the calculation of AGR dues and payment of the balance amount, Mittal said, “We have given our self-assessment calculation to the government”.

The Union government on March 4 had asked Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecom to pay the remaining AGR dues in accordance with the SC order without further delay.

DoT had written to all telcos asking them to submit a detailed bifurcation of payments (explanation of self-assessed amounts), which it said was necessary for proper reconciliation of legitimate dues.

Airtel has paid Rs 13,004 crore to the government in two instalments. It had also deposited an additional Rs 5,000 crore “as an ad-hoc payment (subject to subsequent refund/ adjustment) to cover differences, if any, arising from the reconciliation exercise with the DoT”.

The total payout by Bharti Airtel, however, is half of the Rs 35,586.01 crore liability estimated by DoT.

Vodafone Idea, on March 6, pegged its total dues at Rs 21,533 crore — less than half of what the DoT estimated, even as Vodafone CEO Nick Read indicated a keenness to make a “new, good beginning” in India.

The company has so far paid Rs 3,500 crore out of the “self-assessed” liability of Rs 21,533 crore, while the DoT estimated the firm’s dues to be over Rs 53,000 crore.

Similarly, Tata Teleservices has paid Rs 2,197 crore in AGR dues, and an additional Rs 2,000 crore recently as reconciliation, while DoT estimated its liabilities to be about Rs 14,000 crore.

First Published: Wed, March 11 2020. 23:13 IST