DoT seeks clarity on AGR payment schedule

12 Nov 2020

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought a legal opinion from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to clarify the Supreme Court’s order on the timeline for payment of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) related dues, the Economic Times writes. Earlier this year the apex court granted operators permission to pay off their AGR-related dues via a series of annual payments up to 31 March 2031, starting with at least 10% by 31 March 2021. It was not clear from the decision whether the requirement to pay 10% of the total by the end of the fiscal year was intended to take into account the amount already paid by the operators. Vodafone Idea (now operating under the ‘Vi’ banner) and Bharti Airtel have both claimed that as they had paid more than 10% of the demanded total by the time of the ruling, they had satisfied the requirement for that year and therefore had until March 2022 to pay the next instalment. The DoT, on the other hand, has interpreted the order as taking the sums already paid into account and requiring that the affected providers pay a further 10%.