Reliance Jio clears AGR dues; now heavy lifting falls upon Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea

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Updated: January 23, 2020 6:28:10 PM

India’s leading telecom services provider, Reliance Jio Infocomm on Thursday cleared all its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the Department of Telecom (DoT) ahead of January 24 deadline given by Supreme Court.

Reliance Jio Q3 Result Update: रिलायंस जियो के तिमाही नतीजों का पूरा अपडेटReliance Jio had earlier made provision of Rs 177 crore in order to clear all of its AGR dues.

India’s largest telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm on Thursday cleared all its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by making a relatively small payment to the government on the deadline given by the Supreme Court, even as rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are yet to do the heavy lifting in paying their massive AGR dues. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has paid Rs 195 crore to telecom department and cleared all of its adjusted gross revenue dues to be accrued till January 31, 2020, PTI reported. Based on the Supreme Court’s judgement dated October 24, 2019, Reliance Jio had made provision of Rs 177 crore in order to clear all of its AGR dues. It had paid another Rs 18 crore to clear off its AGR dues from September 2019 to January 2020.

While there is no further AGR burden on Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are still under pressure to clear their dues. Airtel is liable to pay Rs 35,586 crore, Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, owes a massive Rs 50,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). These two companies along with other telecom companies owe the government as much as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past statutory dues. The apex court has set January 23 as the deadline to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. However, companies have requested the telecom department to give them time to make payment based on the outcome of their modification petition listed for hearing before the Supreme Court next week.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel recently raised $3 billion through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) and an overseas bond which should help the company pay its dues. As far as Vodafone Idea is concerned, it may not be able to meet its obligations. It is yet to be seen how the company will comply with clearing off its debt. “With the two large shareholders — Britain’s Vodafone Group Plc and Indian billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla — reluctant to throw more good money after bad, the equity value of the business is hurtling toward zero,” Bloomberg had reported earlier.

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