Following the footsteps of Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel on Thursday told the Department of Telecom that it will wait for Supreme Court’s fresh verdict before clearing any adjusted gross revenue (AGR) arrears.
While the hearing of the modified pleas is due for the next week, the deadline for the telecom giants to pay the dues was scheduled for January 23.
“Airtel has written to DoT that it will not be making the AGR dues payment today and wait till next hearing of the Supreme Court on its modification petition,” the sources said.
Prior to that, Vodafone Idea had said that it will wait for hearing of the modified plea that was filed at the apex court earlier this week.
Airtel AGR dues are Rs 35,586 crore and Vodafone Idea has to pay Rs 52,039 crore.
Telecom giants like Vodafone Idea, Bharti Telecom and Tata Teleservices have to pay a total Rs 1.02 lakh crore in AGR-related dues.
On Wednesday, the top court agreed to hear next week the modification pleas filed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to allow the telcos to negotiate with the DoT on conditions and payment schedules of the statutory dues.
Last week, the court had rejected a review petition filed by the telcos on the October verdict, which widened the definition of AGR.
The telecom sector companies owe the government about Rs 1.47 lakh crore.
(With input from agencies)