Business

Telcos seek open court hearing on AGR

The Bench had found that the telecom sector had long reaped the fruits of the Centre’s liberalised mode of payment by revenue sharing regime

The Bench had found that the telecom sector had long reaped the fruits of the Centre’s liberalised mode of payment by revenue sharing regime   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

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Urge rethink on SC verdict upholding recovery of ₹1.47 lakh crore in past dues

Telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, on Wednesday urged an open court hearing of their petitions seeking a review of a Supreme Court judgment upholding the recovery of past dues amounting to ₹1.47 lakh crore from them. The recovery by the government was based on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of about ₹92,000 crore.

The plea seeking an open court hearing was mentioned before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, who said he would take a decision after talking to Chief Justice S.A. Bobde.

On October 24 last year, dealing a huge blow to telecom service providers, a Bench led by Justice Mishra had upheld the Department of Telecom’s (DoT) move to recover AGR of about ₹92,000 crore from them.

The Bench had found that the telecom sector had long reaped the fruits of the Centre’s liberalised mode of payment by revenue sharing regime. “The sector has benefited immensely under the scheme as apparent from the gross revenue trend from 2004 to 2015,” Justice Mishra had written, adding that the service providers had failed to fulfil their obligations to the government and raised frivolous objections.

The Supreme Court dismissed the telecom service providers’ objection to the government’s formulation of AGR.

The judgment had said that the gross revenue would be inclusive of installation charges, late fees, sale proceeds of handsets (or any other terminal equipment etc.), revenue on account of interest, dividend, value-added services, supplementary services, access or interconnection charges, roaming charges, revenue from permissible sharing of infrastructure and any other miscellaneous revenue, without any set-off for related item of expense, etc.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 2:00:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/telcos-seek-open-court-hearing-on-agr/article30516536.ece

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