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Telcos paid Rs 15,896 cr on AGR, Rs 1.30 lakh cr remaining: Govt

New Delhi, March 4, 2020-

The government has received Rs 15,896.5 crore payment from telecom companies towards AGR liabilities, with dues of Rs 1,30,440.4 crore remaining, Parliament was told on Wednesday.

Responding to a question if the government intends to propose a plan for future development in the telecom sector in view of the huge Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) fees required to be paid by telcos, Minister of State for Communications Sanjay Dhotre told the Lok Sabha that said there is “no such plan at present”.

To reports regarding shutting down of Vodafone Idea, he said that there is no such information with the government.

On whether the government proposes to initiate any action over non-compliance of order on payment of dues by telcos, Dhotre pointed out that the Centre had directed the licensees to make the payments in accordance with October 24 order of the Supreme Court.

“As per license agreement, the Government takes action against licensees including Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) over non-compliance of Supreme Court order dated October 24, 2019 on payment of dues of Department of Telecommunication,” he said.

Detailing out payments made by telecom companies to the DoT towards statutory dues, Dhotre informed that against the provisional total dues of Rs 1,46,336.9 crore, payment to the tune of Rs 15,896.5 crore have been received.

The balance dues are about Rs 1,30,440.47 crore, the minister said.

However, the number does not appear to reflect the latest tranche of payment made by Bharti Airtel on February 29. It has placed Bharti Airtel’s payments (including Telenor) at Rs 10,000 crore, with balance dues at Rs 27,740crore. Reliance Communication/Reliance Telecommunication have made payment of Rs 3.96 crore, with remaining dues pegged at Rs 21,135.6 crore. Dhotre informed that Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 3,500 crore, putting the balance dues at Rs 49,538 crore.

The due amounts may be revised once AGR figures are finalised and assessments are accordingly done and also subject to C&AG Audit/Special Audit, it said.

According to the information presented, Tata Group has paid Rs 2,197.3 crore, and its balance dues are at Rs 11,625 crore.

In case of Reliance Jio, the payment of Rs 195.18 crore received and exceeded dues of Rs 60.52 crore, the information showed. State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mananagar Telephone Nigam Ltd have not made any payments towards their liabilities.The balance dues of BSNL remains at Rs 4,989.4 crore and of MTNL at Rs 3,122.8 crore.

Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) such as GAIL, Oil India and others represented to Department of Telecom that the AGR judgment is not applicable on them and therefore they do not owe any dues to the department.

The Supreme Court has detached the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) from the AGR judgement of October, 2019 and directed them to seek relief from appropriate forum , he said.

He said that the government abides by the Supreme Court order dated February 14.  (Agency)

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