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Govt gets Rs 25,701 cr AGR, Tata Tele pays Rs 4,197 cr

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Telecom tower firms seek more relief, priority lendingNew Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The Government has received Rs 25,701 crore so far as AGR dues till Tuesday with the latest payment of Rs 2,000 crore by Tata Teleservices in its second instalment.

Tata Teleservices had earlier paid Rs 2,197 crore, saying it was its full and final figure after self-assessment, while Department of Telecommunications (DoT) officials said they would send notice to TTSL to pay the remaining amount pegged at Rs 14,819.03 crore. Now it has paid Rs 2,000 crore more on covering the gaps on self-assessment reconciliation with the DoT, thus paying a total of Rs 4,197 crore.

Bharti Airtel on Saturday made additional payment of Rs 8,004 crore towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the DoT. This payment was in addition to Rs 10,000 crore the company paid on February 17 in compliance with the Supreme Court judgement.

The top court had directed on February 14 that AGR dues will need to be paid up by the next hearing day of March 17.

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Earlier, Vodafone Idea had paid Rs 3,500 crore in two tranches and now all eyes are on the belaguered telco if it will make any further payment. VIL Chairman K.M. Birla has made several trips to DoT and has also met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seeking relief in paying the AGR dues.

On Friday, the Digital Communications Commission met to discuss relief to the sector but officials said they need more data to reconcile government figures with telcos” self-assessment to be able to consider any relief.

In an exchange filing on Saturday, Airtel said it calculated the liabilities on self assessment basis till December 31, 2019 and the payment includes interest up to February 29, 2020. The company carried out a self assessment from FY 2006-07 up to December 31, 2019 and interest thereon up to February 29, 2020 in line with the AGR judgement,

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“Accordingly the company paid an additional amount of Rs 3,004 crore towards the full and final amounts due over and above ad-hoc amount of Rs 10,000 crore paid on February 17, 2020 on behalf of Bharti Group of companies,” the filing said. The payment included liabilities on Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom and Telenor India.

“We have also deposited an additional amount of Rs 5,000 crore, as an ad-hoc payment (subject to the subsequent refund/adjustment to cover differences, if any arising from the reconciliation exercise with the DoT,” Airtel said.

“Based on the aforesaid payment, we have now complied with the AGR judgement and the directions in the order of the Hon”ble Supreme Court dated October 24, 2019,” the company said.

However, according to DoT estimates, Airtel owed nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee, spectrum usage charges with interest on unpaid amount, penalty and interest on penalty till July 2019.

–IANS

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