AGR issue: SC slams DoT for demanding Rs 4-lakh cr from PSUs

The Supreme Court on Thursday again slammed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for demanding an adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of Rs 4 lakh-crore from PSUs, terming it “completely inefficient” and returning it to DoT Asked to consider taking.

PSUs – Power Grid Corporation of India, GAIL India, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals and Oil India, – had demanded the Department of Telecom saying that telecom is not their core business and revenue from licenses like ISP is a big part of their revenue. Is part of. .

The bench also asked private telecom operators (Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Group) to file an affidavit detailing the repayment of AGR dues. The next hearing will be on 18 June.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for DoT, told the bench that the department would file an affidavit explaining why the AGR demand was raised against the PSUs.

At the government’s request to allow up to 20 years of telescope to pay the remaining ₹ 93,520 crore in AGR dues, it tried to find justification for such a long period and wanted to know what the company and their directors could guarantee.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazar and MR Shah questioned the PSU’s demand raised by the government and said that its decision in the case was misinterpreted as the issue of his arrear was not dealt with on the basis of AGR. Supreme Court.

On 18 May, the Supreme Court reprimanded Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other operators for self-assessing their outstanding telecom dues, requiring them to pay past dues with interest and penalties, in total. Approximately Supreme 1.6 lakh crores.

Even at that time, the Supreme Court had come down heavily on the DOT, allowing companies to re-evaluate the valuation they had given to the government, and said its order – passed on October 24 – owed revenue. Was the last to be counted.

Meanwhile, the bench also asked the telecom companies to file affidavits as to how they would pay the dues. It also asked the operators whether they contributed to the relief fund for Covid-19, for which advocates representing the companies said they contributed towards the Covid-19 relief, including the PM Cars Fund.

On payment of AGR dues, Bharti Airtel has paid R 18,004 crore of 943,980 crore dues, Vodafone Idea has paid 400 6,854 crore, its dues of 400 1,975 crore and Tata Group has 19 16,788 crore dues. 19,197 crores have been paid from. .

According to industry tracking analysts, the current AGR decision will allow Telecom to chart a payment roadmap – staggered over a defined timeline with adequate security / guarantees.

“Spectrum, network equipment, which is recoverable from the government, can be considered an effective alternative to security planes. Telecom is a regulated sector in which Telto is operated under license issued by DoT. Any default of telescopes can have an impact and thus the license works as an implied guarantee, either way, ”said Prashant Singhal, emerging market technology, media and telecommunications leader.

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