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Airtel, Voda-Idea may pay dues today

The Department of Telecom will take action after evaluating the sums paid.

The Department of Telecom will take action after evaluating the sums paid.  

Enough time given, says DoT

Telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices are likely to make payment for adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues on Monday to avoid stringent punitive action from the Department of Telecommunication, according to an official source.

The three companies are jointly liable to pay dues of over Rs. 1 lakh crore, but they have informed the Department of Telecom (DoT) of making only partial payment, as per their representatives.

“Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices have said they will make payments on Monday. DoT will take action after evaluating the amount paid by them,” an official source told PTI.

Earlier on Friday, Bharti Airtel offered the DoT to pay Rs. 10,000 crore by February 20, but a DoT official said the department could not grant any extension.

Vodafone Idea on Saturday said it was assessing the amount that could be paid towards AGR dues, even as it flagged concerns over the continuation of its business.

Telecom operators are collectively liable to pay Rs. 1.47 lakh crore in AGR dues as per the Supreme Court order dated October 24, 2019. The deadline to pay the amount ended on January 23, but none of the telecom operators, except Reliance Jio, has paid its dues, including state-owned BSNL and MTNL.

Asked about telecom operators having sought time to assess the amount they have to pay, the DoT official said the court gave them three months to do so and even after missing January 23 deadline, the operators had sufficient time to calculate their dues.

“Before the due date, DoT has sent telecom operators 4 notices and reminders to pay to avoid punitive action,” the source said.

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