Reliance Jio, India’s #1 4G service provider, has made payment of Rs 195 crore towards its AGR dues.
India’s Supreme Court had set January 23 as the deadline to pay the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. Airtel and Vodafone Idea did not make the payment on Thursday to clear their AGR dues, PTI reported.
Airtel and Vodafone Idea have requested the Department of Telecom (DoT) to grant more time to make their AGR payments as they will wait for the outcome of their modification petition listed for hearing before the Supreme Court next week.
Jio, a telecom operator promoted by Mukesh Ambani, had made a provision of Rs 177 crore to pay for its AGR dues based on the Supreme Court’s judgment of October 24, 2019.
Airtel will have to pay Rs 35,600 crore and Vodafone Idea will have to pay Rs 53,000 crore to clear their AGR dues.
DoT has directed all departments not to take any action against Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea until further notice in case they fail to comply with the SC order.
The direction was issued following the approval of Member-Finance, who heads all DoT departments that deal with revenue matters.
DoT, which is in the process of preparing a compliance report on mobile operators’ dues, will await a final ruling from the Supreme Court before further action, Hindu Business Line reported.
“You are directed not to take any coercive action against the licensees in case they fail to comply with the Supreme Court order, until further orders,” an internal note by DoT’s Licensing Finance Policy Wing said.
“We are very grateful to DoT for having taken (a) positive step and waiting till the Supreme Court takes a final decision. This eases pressure on the industry and we will wait for the court’s final decision,” Rajan S Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India, said.
Airtel has written a letter to DoT stating that the telecom operator will comply with the Supreme Court order, and requested the licensor to wait till the apex court’s hearing next week. Vodafone Idea has also sought extension till the Supreme Court’s order is given.