Supreme Court order fallout: DoT notices to non-telco PSUs to pay up AGR dues

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Published: November 23, 2019 1:45:04 AM

The sources further said till now these public sector firms have not approached DoT for any clarification as they are likely to approach their respective ministries for a way forward.

Earlier, the DoT had sent notices only to telecom service providers and associations of internet service providers, virtual network operators and satellite providers.Earlier, the DoT had sent notices only to telecom service providers and associations of internet service providers, virtual network operators and satellite providers.

The department of telecommunications (DoT) has started issuing notices to PSUs whose core operations are not telecom but have a telecom licence of some nature or use spectrum for some part of their operations. These PSUs have also been asked to pay their licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues, not only on telecom-related revenues but on total revenues as per the October 24 Supreme Court order.

As reported earlier, once the dues of such PSUs are taken into account the total amount goes over Rs 3 lakh crore. The dues of only the telcos adds up to Rs 1.47 lakh crore.

According to sources, DoT has already issued notices to GAIL, SAIL, Oil India, PowerGrid and Railtel, and is in the process of sending it to others who have taken a licence from DoT for internet services or national or international long distance, etc.

Earlier, the DoT had sent notices only to telecom service providers and associations of internet service providers, virtual network operators and satellite providers.

The sources further said till now these public sector firms have not approached DoT for any clarification as they are likely to approach their respective ministries for a way forward. “There may be inter-ministerial consultations on the issue or DoT may seek clarity from Supreme Court regarding these firms,” an official privy to the development told FE.

The official said clarity may also come from Supreme Court as telecom operators on Friday filed a review petition and when DoT submits its views on the matter, it may seek clarity from the court regarding non-telecom sector firms.

Meanwhile, the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), has written to the government seeking relief from the order by stressing that internet providers were not party to the case and the financial impact on such firms could be over Rs 2.3 lakh crore, which may rise even further. The association is hoping that government will intervene in the matter and some solution can be found so that ISPs are not burdened.

However, DoT officials said that even though the ISPs were not party to the matter the SC order will apply to them.

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