Bharti Airtel on Monday paid Rs 10,000 crore to the telecom department as a part of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR).
“The…amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor,” the Sunil Mittal-led company said in a statement.
As much as Rs 9,500 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel (including Telenor India which merged with the company), and another Rs 500 crore for Bharti Hexacom.
The telecom giant said it will pay the balance after the self-assessment exercise.
After facing the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, the telecom department on February 14 began issuing orders asking firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear past dues immediately.
On February 14 (Friday), Airtel had said it will pay Rs 10,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications by February 20 and the remaining before March 17.
But on Monday, the company rushed to make part payments and said, “we are in the process of completing the self assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in (the) SC”.
The Department of Telecom had claimed Airtel has AGR dues worth Rs 35,586 crore. So far only Reliance Jio has successfully paid its dues of Rs 195 crore.
On the other hand, Vodafone Idea Ltd is confronted with the dues worth Rs 53,000 crore – its liabilities add up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee.
Vodafone Idea, in a regulatory filing on Saturday, had said it is assessing the amount that can be paid towards AGR dues, although it reiterated that continuation of business in India will depend on “a positive outcome” of its modification plea filed before the apex court.
“The company proposes to pay the amount so assessed in the next few days,” VIL had said.
(With input from agencies)