The government has appealed to the Supreme Court to allow telecom companies to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) over 20 years on 8 per cent interest, fearing bankruptcy in the industry if the court's order for immediate payment is enforced.
"Any immediate adverse impact on the functioning of telcos will hurt not just the economy, but also the interest or crores of consumers," said the telecom department before the court, according to NDTV.com.
The department said the court's judgment on October 24, 2019 "has translated into huge amounts becoming payable."
"It would have inevitable consequences that won't be in anyone's interest," the government said, pointing out that the telcos have already made part payments. The remaining dues, it said, will be protected by the levy of 8 per cent interest on staggered payments.
The Supreme Court in February blasted the firms and the government over the unpaid dues.
Vodafone Idea said on Monday it has made an additional payment of Rs 3,354 crore towards AGR to telecom department, thereby completing payment of principal amount calculated on self-assessment basis.