Chairman of Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal on Thursday said that the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) issue is an unprecedented crisis for the telecom industry and promised to comply with the Supreme Court order.
Mittal’s remarks came after a meeting with telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to give an overall view of the industry.
“Committed to complying with the Supreme Court order on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), and Bharti Airtel will make the balance payment expeditiously,” he told reporters after the meeting.
Last year in October, the apex court had upheld the telecom department’s demand that wireless carriers pay Rs 92,000 crore in overdue levies and interest. The court had given three months’ time to the telecom operators to clear their dues with the telecom department.
In a recent development in the case, the government had last week ordered mobile carriers to immediately pay thousands of crores in dues after the Supreme Court threatened the companies and officials with contempt proceedings for failing to implement its ruling.
Bharti Airtel paid Rs 10,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards statutory dues.
“Total amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor,” it said.
As reported by NDTV, according to the last available estimates, Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore which includes license fee and spectrum charges while Vodafone Idea owes Rs 53,000 crore, which includes around Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee, to the government.
Earlier in the day, Vodafone Idea paid Rs 1,000 crore more to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards its statutory dues, a senior official said.
On the other hand, Tata Teleservices owes around Rs 13,800 crore, while BSNL Rs 4,989 crore and MTNL Rs 3,122 crore to the government.