Vodafone-Idea Asks More Time From DOT To Clear Quarterly AGR Dues

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The beleaguered telecom operator Vodafone-Idea has requested the government for more time to clear its quarterly AGR dues. Besides, the operator has not cleared its bank guarantees for its spectrum payments. The operator is looking for more time to pay dues, and its bank guarantees will remain.

Vodafone-Idea Asks More Time From DOT To Clear Quarterly AGR Dues

 

"The telco has told the government that it needs more time to pay the quarterly AGR dues," a source close to the development was quoted by Economic Times. Adding to that, "A second request has been on the rolling bank guarantees that a telco has to submit to the DoT against the two-year spectrum moratorium. Vodafone Idea wants to provide corporate guarantees for the shortfall instead of complete bank guarantees and this may not be acceptable to the government."

Besides, ICICI Securities has estimated that Vodafone-Idea has to pay Rs. 9,500 crore for Q3 of the last financial year. The firm believes that Airtel owes dues of about Rs. 11,300 crore, while Reliance Jio has to clear Rs. 12,900 crore to the ministry. Furthermore, the firm intimated that Vodafone-Idea owes a debt of about $1.7 billion even after getting moratorium for two financial years.

Airtel And Reliance Jio Paid AGR Amount

On the other hand, both Airtel and Reliance Jio have cleared their average per revenue dues alongside their bank guarantees. However, these dues are not part of the actual AGR amount, where Airtel has to pay more the Rs. 35,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunication, while Jio has cleared that amount too.

It is worth mentioning that telecom operators have to pay eight percent of AGR as license fees and three to four percent as spectrum usage charges. Meanwhile, the Cellular Operators Association of India has asked the DOT to give more time to operators.

There is no doubt that operators are already under a lot of pressure due to lockdown as they have to fulfil the demands of all customers. In fact, all outlets are closed; this means people cannot purchase a new SIM, which again is affecting the operators' business. On top of that, mobile data demand has been increased as 97 percent of people are dependent on their mobile networks.

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