Supreme Court to hear AGR case on 20 July
The court had sought details on revenue earned and taxes paid by the telcos in the past 10 years and had asked these companies to give details of security and guarantees to ensure they will abide by the payment plan
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will continue its hearing in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case on 20 July. The apex court on 18 June had adjourned the case till the third week of July, asking Vodafone Idea Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Tata Teleservice to furnish financial statements and books of accounts of last 10 years to ascertain the firms’ capability to clear AGR related dues.
The court had sought details on revenue earned and taxes paid by the telcos in the past 10 years and had asked these companies to give details of security and guarantees to ensure they will abide by the payment plan.
The apex court on 24 October upheld the Department of Telecommunication’s (DoT) definition of AGR and ordered telecom firms to pay levies based on that definition, along with interest on the principal amount and penalty.
The verdict dealt a severe blow to telcos as it directed them to a pay dues totalling to ₹92,000 crore. Telecom experts believe that while Bharti Airtel can manage to clear the dues, Vodafone Idea’s financial position looks uncertain.
The apex court in June had also asked the government to consider the payment proposals submitted by the telecom companies and file a reply on the same. The DoT had earlier this year filed a plea seeking a 20-year payment period for the dues.
The government withdrew its demand for 96% of around ₹4 lakh crore AGR related dues raised against public-sector companies such as Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), GAIL India, GNFC and Oil India, after the Supreme Court asked it do so.
The SC said this was a misuse of its 24 October judgement that had ordered telecom companies to pay around Rs1 trillion in dues for under-reporting their revenues.
After payment of ₹25,902 crore by the operators, telecom companies’ dues for the 13-year period ending March 2017 stood at ₹1.69 lakh crores. The dues also include those of telecom companies that shut operations.