DoT warns licensees not to delay payment of AGR dues, estimated to total USD50bn

10 Dec 2019

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has advised all companies – including non-telcos – not to delay payment of dues related to the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) ruling and to seek any clarifications on the matter by 13 December, the Economic Times reports. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in October this year, telecom licensees must pay fees based on the entirety of their income, rather than just revenue from their telecom activities. The resolution of the long-running dispute left the sector with a bill of around INR1.47 trillion (USD20.7 billion), although that figure is set to rise as assessments are completed. In addition, there are over 3,000 licences held by non-telcos such as utility and rail companies, which are estimated to owe a combined total of around INR2.28 trillion. The apex court’s decision gave those affected by the ruling just three months to pay up, and a notice from the DoT seen by the paper stated ‘in no case the self-assessment and payment of dues are to be delayed’. The DoT’s warning is largely aimed at the nation’s cellcos, several of which have sought reviews of elements of the ruling and related charges. Industry stakeholders have also sought relief from the government on the matter, but have so far been rebuffed. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has stated that the ministry is not considering waiving any penalties or interest on dues related to the AGR decision.