The first AGR payment has come to the government as Airtel on Monday paid Rs. 10,000 crores dues to the Department of Telecom (DoT). The company said it is paying Rs. 10,000 crores in compliance with the Supreme Court order.
It paid Rs. 9,500 crores on behalf of Bharti Airtel and Telenor which has merged with the parent company and Rs. 500 crores for Bharti Hexacom, its subsidiary. Further, it said it is in the process of self assessment of accounts and and will duly make the balance payments before the next date of hearing (March 17).
According to DoT, Bharti Airtel owes Rs. 35,500 crores to DoT.
The company said it will make payment of the balance amount after self assessment exercise. “The…total amount of Rs. 10,000 crores has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor. [..] We are in the process of completing the self assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in the SC,” Bharti Airtel said.
The company said it will also submit supporting details at the time of making balance payment. The telecom department on February 14 began issuing orders asking firms such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to clear past dues immediately.
The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, had started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to the firms.
Airtel had previously responded to DoT order by offering to pay Rs. 10,000 crores by February 20 and the remaining before March 17. Airtel owes nearly Rs. 35,586 crores, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge, to the government.
On Sunday, Vodafone Idea said it was currently assessing the AGR dues and will pay this in the next few days, the company has said in an exchange filing.