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The department of telecommunications (DoT) is examining whether the Supreme Court’s ruling on definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) will apply to any company that either utilises spectrum or has a telecom licence of any nature. In that eventuality, the total past dues could be much higher than the Rs 1.33 lakh crore due from telecom operators and could swell beyond Rs 3 lakh crore.
DoT officials said that it will take a week or so to arrive at a definitive conclusion on the matter. Companies other than telecom operators who either utilise spectrum or have telecom licence of some nature are stand-alone Internet service providers and government owned oil and gas, power firms and railways. The DoT needs to examine whether the licence is held in such cases by a subsidiary firm the parent firm. If it is the parent firm then as per SC ruling, their entire revenue needs to be taken into account to calculate the AGR amount.
The matter has, however, not been placed before the newly constituted committee of secretaries, as the DoT first needs to arrive at a final view on the matter. The CoS, headed by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, has been asked to examine all aspects of financial stress faced by service providers such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea and suggest measures to mitigate them. The panel has already held two meetings since it was constituted.