Vodafone Idea and Airtel’s problems may increase further. The burden of outstanding gross revenue (AGR) on telecom companies may increase further. The Telecom Department (DoT) is now calculating the outstanding dues for the financial year 2018 and 2019 as well.
AGR outstanding amounting to Rs 92,642 crore as license fee, interest and penalty is up to the financial year 2017. However, the outstanding spectrum usage charge (SUC) of Rs 70,869 crore is until January this year. A source aware of this development said, “The outstanding amount of AGR has been calculated till 2016-17. Now we are assessing the outstanding amount including interest and penalty for the period after that.
Executives associated with the telecom industry are apprehensive that the new calculus up to the financial year 2019 may increase the outstanding balance of AGR by 40%.
This will further widen the gap between the government’s estimate and its own assessment of the telecom companies and may lead to a new legal dispute between the two parties.
The DoT estimate so far suggests that Vodafone Idea has to pay Rs 56,709.49 crore as outstanding dues. Out of this, the company had paid Rs 2,500 crore on Monday and informed of giving another Rs 1,000 crore by Friday. Bharti Airtel owes Rs 39,723.93 crore. The company has paid Rs 10,000 crore out of this and said that it is assessing the outstanding amount. Tata Teleservices owes Rs 14,819.03 crore and the company has given Rs 2,197 crore. The company says that according to its estimate it is full and final payment.
ET had reported that according to Bharti Airtel’s initial calculations, its outstanding amount was Rs 15,000-18,000 crore, while according to Vodafone Idea’s calculations, it owed about Rs 23,000 crore. The financial position of Vodafone Idea is very bad. The company has said that it may have to exit the business if it does not get relief on the outstanding amount. UK-based Vodafone Group, which holds a stake in it, has refused to invest further in the company. Let us know that Reliance Jio Infocomm has paid its dues within the deadline.