Telecom AGR dues hearing Highlights: SC reserves order on 20-yr payout window, refuses to entertain recalculation

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Updated: July 20, 2020 7:51:09 pm

Supreme Court AGR dues hearing Highlights: Supreme Court reserved its order on the timeline of payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by telecom companies.

Supreme Court AGR dues hearing Highlights: Supreme Court reserved its order on the timeline of payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by telecom companies. The next hearing will be held on August 10 on the issue of companies which have gone into liquidation. Supreme Court said that it has heard parties on liability and timeframe for making the payment. During the AGR case hearing in Supreme Court, Justice Arun Mishra said, “You all are wasting your and our time and energy, what kind of exercise you people are doing. Why you people are arguing for this now? We will impose exemplary costs on telecom companies.” Mukul Rohtagi who represented Vodafone idea pleaded the court with folded hands and said, “Please give 15 years to pay the rest of the amount.” Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel scaled down their demand from 20-year timeline to 15 years. The hearing was scheduled to start at 2 PM, but it was delayed. A three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah heard the case. The Supreme Court in its last hearing held on June 18, asked the telecom companies to make a minimum payment to show bonafides, provide a roadmap of payments (payment plan) if allowed to stagger payments and provide books of accounts for the last decade for assessment.

As per the Department of Telecommunications, out of Bharti Airtel’s nearly Rs 43,000 crore total dues, the company has paid nearly Rs 18,000 crore. On the other hand, along with the Rs 1,000 crore payment made on Saturday and Rs 6,854 crore in last three tranches, Vodafone Idea has paid a total of Rs 7,854 crore to DoT towards the AGR dues, against its total AGR dues of around Rs 58,000 crore. Total AGR dues for Tata Teleservices, as per the DoT, stands at Rs 16,789 crore. Out of which the company has Rs 4,197 crore so far. As the DoT estimates, telcos owe a total of Rs 1.19 lakh crore, of which it has received Rs 26,896 crore so far. Currently, the balance stands at Rs 92,520 crore.

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Highlights

    18:01 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Wouldn't hear arguments for reassessment of AGR dues even for a second: SC

    Supreme Court reserved order on the issue of the timeline for staggered payment of AGR related dues by telecom companies. SC made it clear that it would not hear arguments for re-assessment of AGR related dues "even for a second"

    17:59 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Next hearing on Aug 10 on issue of companies which have gone into liquidation

    Next hearing on August 10 on the issue of companies which have gone into liquidation. Companies having gone into insolvency, bonafides of their actions should be examined - Rcom, Aircel, Sistema, Videocon, etc.

    17:43 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    While hearing the matter, attempts were made to wriggle out of the liability: SC

    Supreme Court said "Heard parties on liability and timeframe for making the payment. While hearing the matter, attempts were made to wriggle out of the liability like asking for reassessment and recalculations".

    17:19 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    SC reserves order on 20-year payout window

    Supreme Court reserves its order wrt to the government's plea on the 20-year timeline to be given to the companies to pay the AGR dues. 

    17:16 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Government amounts taken as final

    Heard parties on liability and timeframe for making the payment. While hearing the matter, attempts were made to wriggle out of the liability like asking for reassessment and recalculations. Second innings being played. Government amounts taken as final. No reassessment to be made.

    17:14 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    We want to give 20 years, it's reasonable: SG

    SG says we want to give 20 years. It's reasonable. Interest on instalment should be paid at the banking rate from the date of judgment.

    17:12 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Bonafide of actions is to be checked: SC asks SG

    SC asks SG to check bonafide of these 4 companies, including RCom and Videocon, which are in liquidation. Rs 40,000 crore is stuck with them. Why they have gone into liquidation? Bonafide of their actions is to be checked

    17:00 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    We will impose exemplary costs on telecom companies: Justice Arun Mishra

    AGR case in Supreme Court: Justice Arun Mishra said, "You all are wasting your and our time and energy, what kind of exercise you people are doing. Why you people are arguing for this now? We will impose exemplary costs on telecom companies.": ANI tweeted

    16:55 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    We don't seek reassessment, just seek time to pay: Vodafone Idea

    Vodafone reiterates that "we don't seek reassessment, just seek time to pay. The company is not seeking reassessment of telecom dues. It says they have no assets left. Only they have undisputed GST credit of Rs 8,200 crore, which govt can retain".

    16:48 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    I say with folded hands. Give us at least 15 yrs: Mukul Rohtagi for Vodafone Idea

    Mukul Rohtagi said 'I accept Rs 58,000 crore figure given by the government. Give me 20 years to pay. My client is in very very deep waters'. SC asks how do you secure money to this country. Are you threatening the court? Your tone and tenor is not good. 'I say with folded hands. Give us at least 15 yrs. Govt has also agreed,' said Rohtagi for Vodafone Idea.

    16:46 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Interest has to be calculated as per our judgement: Justice Mishra

    "How do we go beyond the decree? Interest has to be calculated as per our judgement. You are saying you won't even pay interest," says Justice Mishra

    16:45 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    7-10 year period would be reasonable to repay AGR dues: Parasaran

    Parasaran from Tata Teleservices to SC, "7-10 year period would be reasonable to repay AGR dues

    16:43 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    We may send directly to jail who is doing wrong things from here: Justice Arun Mishra

    Justice Arun Mishra says, "If you won't comply with our orders, we will strictly take action against you. We may send directly to jail who is doing wrong things from here."

    16:42 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    If you are running in loss for decades, how can we rely on you?: SC asks Vodafone Idea

    A three-member judge bench of Supreme Court asks Vodafone Idea's lawyer Mukul Rohtagi, "If you are running in loss for decades, how can we rely on you? How will you ensure paying AGR dues?"

    16:41 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    We have filed details of balance sheets, tax details of one decade: Mukul Rohtagi

    During the hearing of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) case involving many telecom companies, Vodafone Idea lawyer Mukul Rohatgi tells the Supreme Court, "We have filed details of balance sheets, tax details of one decade."

    16:39 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    What is your arrangement for liability: Justice Mishra to Mukul Rohtagi

    Justice Mishra asked Mukul Rohtagi "What is your arrangement for liability?'. Rohtagi said we had no provision for this liability as we had succeeded.  "Whether you made arrangement for contingent liabilities yearly accounts?," Judges asked. "I have no income. Whatever I put from my pockets, I have even lost that," Rohtagi said.

    16:36 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Bharti Airtel has paid Rs 18,000 crore: Senior lawyer AM Singhvi

    Singhvi for Bharti Airtel says it has paid Rs 18,000 crore. Liability is Rs 21,000 crore. Rs 2,000 crore need to be adjusted. According to government, Airtel's liability is Rs 25,976 crore. Singhvi opposed and said only Rs 21,000 crore is the balance liability. Reconciliation of Rs 2,000 crore has to be done

    16:32 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Former SG Mohan Parasaran appears for Tatas

    Former SG Mohan Parasaran appeared for Tatas. SC asks Parasaran to tell it how will it secure the liability. Parasaran says 10-15 years was required. SC says 15 years is not a reasonable time. From where this time period has come? What will happen to the revenue of this country?

    16:29 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Bench asks companies to come up with a reasonable timeline

    The Bench asks companies to come up with a reasonable timeline. Revenue of this country has to be saved. Foreign companies have no assets here. How Vodafone money will be recovered? If they go into liquidation, then what will happen. How do we secure the money?

    16:28 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Give us 20 years: Vodafone Idea

    Vodafone says SC order should be honoured. If the verdict can't be honoured in one stroke, it should be in parts. Give us 20 years. 

    16:25 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Hughes Communications paid Rs 28 crore: Kapil Sibal

    Kapil Sibal for Hughes Communications says it has paid Rs 28 crore, a balance of Rs 126 crore is outstanding. Govt has bank guarantees worth Rs 69 crore available with them, govt can encash it if required. We can discharge the balance dues if some time is given.

    16:23 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    No frivolous pleas should be raised: Justice Mishra

    Justice Mishra said "This is not permissible. Everyone is attempting to reopen to issue. Don't waste our time. We will impose an exemplary cost. It's contemptuous. Again you are arguing the same. We won't repeat another historic mistake. Once we had sent the matter to TDSAT. You (lawyers) all are responsible people. We want such responsibility from companies. No frivolous pleas should be raised.

    16:21 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Vodafone Idea total revenue over 10 years stands at Rs 6 lakh crores

    We (Vodafone) have a net loss of 2,800 crores in first year, Rs 1,800 crores loss in next and thereafter a loss of Rs 523 crores. Total revenue over 10 years is 6 lakh crores, out of which expenses were Rs 495 crores, says Mukul Rohtagi

    16:19 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Vodafone Idea says whatever revenue was earned, has been spent on AGR, taxes

    Vodafone says whatever revenue was earned, has been spent on AGR, taxes, services. Over 1 lakh crore equity used in 15 years of Indian operations.

    16:17 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Bharti Airtel disputes over Rs 20,000 crore liability difference

    Bharti Airtel is disputing over Rs 20,000 crore liability difference. Singhvi says this amount is not included in AGR. Judges asked him to look at the AGR definition. 

    16:13 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Vodafone Idea filed details of balance sheets one decade since 2006

    Mukul Rohtagi for Vodafone Idea says it has filed details of balance sheets, tax details of one decade since 2006 when it started operations in India. 

    16:06 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Data usage per customer of Bharti Airtel higher than Reliance Jio

    Though Jio has a higher subscriber base than Bharti Airtel, if one looks at the January-March numbers, its Arpu at Rs 131 was much lower than Bharti’s Rs 154. Even the data usage per customer of Bharti was higher at 14 GB a month compared to Jio’s 11 GB. With the Google smartphone, this trend can be reversed.

    16:04 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    How Google stands to gain from Reliance Jio

    The Reliance Jio-Google collaboration is not only beneficial for the Indian company by enabling it to on-board the nearly 350 million 2G subscribers to its 4G network fold, the deal, for which Google is investing Rs 33,737 crore into the Jio Platforms for a 7.77% stake, will also lead to big gains for the tech giant.

    Read full story

    16:01 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Rising ARPU, customer base should provide support to Bharti Airtel's valuations

    Geojit Financial Services has reiterated ‘buy’ rating on Bharti Airtel stock with a revised target of Rs 693 per share, a gain of nearly 20 per cent. “Rising ARPU and customer base should provide support to company valuations. Additionally, the increased demand for broadband connections amidst COVID-19 will further improve topline,” it added.

    15:57 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Major relief for Voda-Idea, Airtel; TDSAT directs TRAI to let telcos continue offering premium plans

    The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on Friday stayed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI’s) earlier decision according to which telecom companies such as Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel were asked to halt their priority service tariff plans. TDSAT has directed TRAI to not discontinue the telcos’ premium plans and has asked TRAI to not pass final orders without giving a hearing to Vodafone Idea.

    Read full story

    15:56 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Vodafone-Idea posts Rs 11,643 crore in Jan-March quarter loss on AGR, spectrum woes

    In January-March quarter, exceptional items related to AGR dues and one-time spectrum charge led Vodafone Idea to post a wider consolidated net loss at Rs 11,643.5 crore. The net loss was higher compared to Bloomberg’s consensus estimates of Rs 4,610 crore. 

    15:53 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Vodafone Idea share price closes in green

    Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 7,854 crore, with a balance of Rs 50,399 crore. Vodafone Idea share price closed the session at Rs 9.04 apiece, up 1.80 per cent from the previous close. 

    15:51 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Bharti Airtel share price ends 1.48% up

    Bharti Airtel share price closed at Rs 575.75 apiece, up 1.48 per cent on BSE in Monday's session. Bharti Airtel has paid nearly Rs 18,000 crore out of Rs 43,000 total dues, so far

    15:47 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Vodafone Idea stands at the last spot in both active and gross subscriber market share

    Vodafone Idea (VIL) stands at the last spot in both active and gross subscriber market share. VIL’s continuous loss of subscribers is majorly due to its sub-par network qualities along with its survival uncertainty, which is hinging on the Supreme Court’s decision to grant an extended moratorium period on the AGR liability: Motilal Oswal Financial Services

    15:46 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Vodafone Idea pays another tranche of AGR dues to government; Rs 7,854 crore paid so far

    Telecom company Vodafone Idea on Friday further paid Rs 1,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, according to the latest regulatory filing. The latest tranche took the total payment amount to Rs 7,854 crore up from Rs 6,854 crore paid by Vodafone Idea earlier in three tranches.

    Read full story

    15:45 (IST)20 Jul 2020
    Bharti Airtel paid Rs 18,000 crore so far

    Out of nearly Rs 43,000 crore total dues, Bharti Airtel company has paid nearly Rs 18,000 crore so far, according to the Department of Telecommunications. 

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