Supreme Court Rejects Telecom Operators' Plea For Recomputation Of AGR Dues; Know Why

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The Supreme Court has rejected Vodafone-Idea, Airtel, and Tata Teleservices' request for re-computation of AGR dues. This denial of AGR dues is likely to affect the revenue book of India's third-largest telecom operator Vodafone-Idea as it is under a deep financial crisis.

 
Supreme Court Rejects Telecom Operators' Plea For Recomputation Of AGR

No Relief For Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, And Tata Teleservices

Notably, the judgment was given by judges LN Rao and Hrishikesh Roy. "All the miscellaneous applications are dismissed," Justice L Nageswara Rao said while announcing the order.

Last year, the Supreme Court has given 10 years of time to telcos to pay AGR dues to the Department of Telecommunication. In fact, Justice LN Rao referred to the earlier order and said that there will be no re-assessment of AGR dues. However, telecom operators in their application raised the issue of error in the calculation of adjusted gross revenue dues.

However, it seems that the industry is not happy with the order and said that this elevates the debt of the companies.

"This will not bode well for the recovery in the sector and is likely to protract the same, given the elevated debt levels and very low tariffs. The industry is staring at high commitments towards debt repayments and DoT payments in the coming few quarters, with next major payments due in March-April 2022," said Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice President & Group Head, ICRA Limited.

He said in order to meet this demand all telcos will have to look for new ways to raise funds and asset monetization. In addition, they need to focus on increasing or improving average revenue per user level.

DoT Self Assessment AGR Dues

DoT wants Vodafone-Idea to clear Rs. 58,400 crores as AGR dues, whereas Airtel has to pay Rs. 43,980 crores. It is important to note that Airtel is financially strong than Vodafone-Idea.

 

According to the self-assessment of the telcos, its adjusted gross revenue of the Vodafone-Idea dues stood at Rs. 21,533 crores, whereas Airtel said its dues are close to Rs. 13,003 crores. This decision of the Supreme Court is expected to increase the financial issues of Vodafone-Idea and the telco might look for new ways to raise money.

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