Airtel Says Rs. 8,000 Crores Payment Complies With Supreme Court’s Order

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Bharti Airtel said it was complying with a Supreme Court order to pay dues, after it paid more than Rs. 8,000 crores ($1.10 billion) to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Saturday. The court, which had ordered Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel among others, to pay Rs. 92,000 crores in overdue levies and interest by January 23, rejected petitions last month to review its October order.

Airtel has deposited with the DoT Rs. 3,004 crores and an additional Rs. 5,000 crores as an ad-hoc payment to cover differences, if any, it said.

“We have now complied,” the company said in a statement, referring to the judgment and court directions of Oct 24, 2019.

The Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling and agreed with the government’s definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which mobile carriers have contested for more than a decade.

Companies say AGR should comprise just revenue accrued from core services, while the government says it should include all revenue, such as money from rent, land sales or sale of scrap.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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