SC to hear Bharti, Voda Idea pleas seeking recalculation of AGR dues in 2 weeks

By: |
February 25, 2021 3:45 AM

Both telcos had in January moved the apex court seeking directions to the department of telecommunications (DoT) to recalculate AGR dues, citing "mathematical errors" in calculation of the outstanding amount by the department.

According to Airtel, DoT has made various arithmetical errors in its calculations and the impact of this is significant.According to Airtel, DoT has made various arithmetical errors in its calculations and the impact of this is significant.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will hear both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s pleas seeking recalculation of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues in two weeks.

Senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, respectively, mentioned their cases for early hearing before a bench led by Justice S Abdul Nazeer, which said that the case will be listed for hearing before an appropriate bench after two weeks.

Both telcos had in January moved the apex court seeking directions to the department of telecommunications (DoT) to recalculate AGR dues, citing “mathematical errors” in calculation of the outstanding amount by the department.

While DoT had estimated that Bharti Airtel owed Rs 43,980 crore, while Airtel’s own estimate put the dues at Rs 13,004 crore. For Vodafone Idea, the numbers were Rs 58,254 crore against its self-assessment of Rs 21,533 crore while for Tata Teleservices, DoT estimates pegged the amount at `16,798 crore against Rs 2,197 crore.

According to Airtel, DoT has made various arithmetical errors in its calculations and the impact of this is significant. “There are a number of apparent arithmetic errors in DoT’s demands, such as duplications in revenue addition, errors of omission and errors of commission, which have nothing to do with the inclusion or exclusion of a particular head of revenue (taking the heads of revenue as final as per the AGR judgement dated October 24, 2019),” Airtel stated.

VI in its petition stated that the calculations made by DoT had errors like double counting, not considering payments already made, not adjusting for interconnect payments etc. It said that the excess demand due to these errors is to the tune of `5,932 crore of principal amount, which would have an overall impact of over four times on the total principal amount due to imposition of interest, penalty and interest on penalty.

The company had made it clear in its petition that it is not seeking any reassessment of the calculations, something which the SC order has barred, or raising any dispute, but only seeking correction in these arithmetical errors.

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