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The government asks Airtel, Vodafone Idea, others to pay AGR balance fees without delay: report

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NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday asked Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecommunications companies to pay the remaining AGR (adjusted gross income) fees according to the Supreme Court order without further delay, according to sources.

The telecommunications department (DoT) wrote to all telecommunications companies asking them to pay the balance fees “without delay” and to submit a detailed fork of the payments (explanation of the self-assessed amounts), which they believe are necessary for reconciliation adequate of the legitimate AGR quotas.

So far, the government has received around Rs 26,000 crore from AGR payments, including ad hoc / buffer amounts granted by telecommunications companies to meet reconciliation differences with the telecommunications department.

However, the amounts paid by the telecommunications companies are unfortunately lower than the AGR calculations of the DoT, which led to the latest movement of the telecommunications department.

Sources aware of the development said that, since the amount paid by the telecommunications companies is based on their own self-assessment, the department has asked them to explain how they arrived at that calculation and to pay the amounts of the balances.

They said that the letter was not a “threat” in its nature, but that it sought an explanation of the basis of the companies’ calculations and requested the remaining legal payments.

Bharti Airtel has submitted more than Rs 18,000 crore to the Department of Commerce stating that it has made a total and final settlement of its AGR obligations, but the amount is much less than Rs 37,500 crore (including Telenor) that the government estimates that The company owes you.

It is pertinent to mention here that Bharti Airtel said on Saturday that he made a payment of Rs 8.004 rupees for AGR to the government, an amount higher than Rs 10 billion rupees that he has already paid previously.

The amount of Rs 8,004 million rupees includes Rs 3,004 million rupees towards the total and final liquidation of AGR quotas based on the self-assessment, and a buffer deposit of Rs 5,000 rupees to cover the reconciliation differences of the DoT.

Similarly, Tata Teleservices has paid Rs 2,197 million rupees in AGR quotas, and earlier this week it completed it with Rs 2 billion rupees to cover reconciliation differences, while DoT estimates that its obligations are around Rs Rs 14,000 million.

So far, VIL has deposited Rs 3,500 million in two tranches to the DoT, but is still evaluating its full AGR quotas. According to the government calculation, VIL owes Rs 53,000 crore in such liabilities.

In total, 15 entities owed the government Rs 1.47 lakh crore in unpaid statutory quotas – Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid license fees and other Rs 55,054 crore in charges for pending spectrum use. Of the estimated fees that include interest and fines for late payments, Airtel and VIL represent about 60 percent.

These quotas arose after the Supreme Court, in October last year, confirmed the government’s position on the inclusion of non-core business revenues when calculating the annual AGR of the telecommunications companies, a part of which is paid as a fee of license and spectrum to the treasure.

Last month, the Supreme Court rejected a request from mobile phone operators such as Bharti Airtel and VIL for the extension of the payment schedule and asked companies to deposit their past fees for spectrum and licenses.

As of February 14, the Supreme Court gave telecommunications companies for failing to meet their previous deadline of January 23 to pay past fees, as well as the DoT for failing to comply, companies and the telecommunications ministry had I have been doing separate calculations on the actual fees.

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