AGR woes: Telecom panel defers decision; DoT re-calculating AGR dues

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Published: February 29, 2020 12:30:13 AM

The DCC meeting which went on for over two hours deliberated on the various relief measures which could be offered to the operators but could not arrive at a decision.

dot, department of telecomApart from the companies, DoT is also re-calculating AGR dues to find any discrepancy.

A meeting of inter-ministerial policy making body in the department of telecommunications — Digital Communications Commission (DCC) — on Friday could not arrive at a decision on relief measures to be provided to the telecom operators with regard to their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

The DCC meeting which went on for over two hours deliberated on the various relief measures which could be offered to the operators but could not arrive at a decision.

According to sources, the DCC is discussing a host of options including providing soft loans to telecom operators, deferment of AGR related dues to yearly installments, preceded by a moratorium, and reduction of levies on the telecom sector.

The next meeting of DCC is likely to take place in the coming days after DoT collates all the data around AGR. It must be mentioned that telecom companies had informed DoT that they would deposit AGR dues after doing self-assessment. Tata Teleservices has deposited Rs 2,197 crore as full and final settlement of its AGR dues, an amount contested by DoT. Bharti Airtel has deposited Rs 10,000 crore while stating that the remaining amount will be paid after self-assessment while Vodafone Idea has deposited Rs 3,500 crore.

Apart from the companies, DoT is also re-calculating AGR dues to find any discrepancy.

The DCC has members from ministries of finance, commerce and industry, electronics and IT and NITI Aayog, besides top officials of DoT.

The sources said whatever decision is taken by the DCC, it will have to be compliant with the Supreme Court’s order. One of the options could be that DoT may request the apex court to grant more time to telecom operators to make AGR related payments.

Various departments of the government are engaged in looking for a solution which is seen in compliance of the Supreme Court order as well as provides some relief to the telecom operators.

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