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New Delhi, February 17, 2020
After Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices made part payments of their AGR dues to the Department of Telecom (DoT), furnishing Rs 2,500 crore and Rs 2,200 crore, respectively, official sources said.
Earlier in the day, Airtel made a payment of Rs 10,000 crore to the DoT.
In all, the government on Monday received Rs 14,700 crore. As per DoT's calculations, Airtel owes AGR of Rs 35,500 crore, Vodafone Idea's dues are Rs 53,000 crore and Tata Teleservices, which has been merged with Airtel but whose AGR dues are being paid by the Tatas, owes Rs 14,000 crore.
According to Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the overall pending AGR amount, including of these three telcos, is Rs 1.47 lakh crore.
Last Friday, the government was severely criticised by the Supreme Court for not being able to recover the statutory dues from the telcos.
All the telcos are currently doing self assessment of their accounts on AGR.
Vodafone Idea, which faces maximum risk of survival on payment of AGR dues, earlier on Monday, moved the apex court stating it can as of now pay only Rs 2,500 crore of the arrears to the government and will follow it up with another Rs 1,000 crore by February 21.
The telecom firm also appealed to the top court that the DoT should not take any coercive action and invoke bank guarantees, as an action of this nature would have consequences and it would eventually hamper their operations.
However, the Supreme Court declined to entertain the telco's plea. According to the counsel, Vodafone contended before the court that Rs 3,500 crore is 50 per cent of its estimated principal AGR dues of Rs 7,000 crore. According to reports, it has informed the government that it is examining all avenues to see to how much of AGR dues it could pay off.