Telecommunications operator Bharti Airtel announced on Thursday that it will defer payment of AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues for up to four years until the 2018-2019 financial year, which are not tabulated in the order of the Supreme Court.
However, the company retained the right to prepay installment amounts and would not exercise the option to convert any interest due that would accrue to equity.
Company sources said that the amount of dues stood at around Rs 3,000 crore for the additional years.
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“We would like to inform you that the company has advised the DoT (Department of Telecommunications) that it will have the option to defer payment of AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues until FY 2018-19 which are not tabulated in the Honorable Supreme Court Order, for up to four years (applicable from fiscal year 2021-22 to fiscal year 2024-25) while retaining the right to prepay installments,” Bharti Airtel said in a regulatory filing.
Airtel said the DoT has offered the option of a four-year moratorium (applicable from FY 2021-22 to FY 2024-25) for AGR dues through FY 2018-19 which does not are not tabulated in the order of the Supreme Court concerning also the statutory assessments as to the conversion of the interest due which accrues in equity.
The government calculates its share of telecom operators’ revenues based on their AGR, which is considered to come from the sale of services. Last week, debt-ridden telecom operator Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) decided to defer payment of additional Rs 8,837 crore AGR dues from a four-year period.
In a June 22 filing, the company said the DoT on June 15 raised AGR’s request for two additional fiscal years beyond 2016-2017, which were not covered by the DoT order. Supreme Court on Statutory Dues. VIL had mentioned that its Board of Directors “approved the exercise of the option to defer AGR-related dues for a period of four years effective immediately, pursuant to said DoT letter.”
“The amount of dues related to the AGR as stated in the said DoT letter is Rs 8,837 Crore, which is subject to review due to assignment of various representations,” he had said.
Telecom service providers had a boost with the government last year when they approved a successful relief package that included a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share airwaves rare, a change in the definition of income on which levies are paid investment and 100 percent foreign automatically.
According to official data, telecom operators owe over Rs 1.65 lakh crore to the government in adjusted gross revenue till the financial year 2018-19.
The new calculation shows that AGR’s total liability on Bharti Airtel is Rs 31,280 crore, Vodafone Idea Rs 59,236.63 crore, Tata Group Rs 12,931.63 crore, Reliance Jio Rs 631 crore, BSNL Rs 16,224 crore and MTNL Rs 5,009.1 crore till FY 2018-19.
Most of the telecom operators have made a partial payment for the AGR request raised till FY 2016-17. Bharti Airtel had an outstanding amount of Rs 25,976 crore, VIL Rs 50,399.63 crore, Tata Group companies 12,600.63 crore, BSNL Rs 5,835.85 crore and MTNL Rs 4,352.09 crore as of March 31, 2021.
Demand has also been increased for some of the telecom companies such as Sistema Shyam, Etisalat DB Telecom, S Tel, Reliance Communications, etc., which have shut down their telecom services business.
Shares of Bharti Airtel ended at Rs 684.40, down Rs 3.10, or 0.45% on BSE.
First post: STI