Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal on Thursday met Telecom Minister as AGR issue looms large on his company. After his meeting, Mittal described AGR crisis as "unprecedented" for Indian Telecom industry. Airtel has until March 17 to pay Rs 35,600 crore to the government as part of (Adjusted Gross Revenue) payment.
Sunil Mittal said that he requested Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for tax cuts for the industry. He also said that he requested that the government should consider cutting various levies charged by the government.
Sunil Mittal calling the current situation "unprecedented" for the telecom industry is probably because all major players are required to pay thousands of crore rupees. The players include Vodafone-Idea, Tata Communications, Reliance in addition to Bharti Airtel.
|Telecom Company||Total AGR dues (Rs)|
|Vodafone Idea||53,000 crore|
|Reliance Communications||21,200 crore|
|Tata Communications||13,800 crore|
Vodafone Idea on Thursday paid Rs 1,000 crore more to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards its statutory dues, a senior official said.
The company had paid Rs 2,500 crore to the government towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues on Monday. In all, it owes Rs 53,000 crore to the telecom department.
Vodafone Idea has given repeated statements suggesting that if it is compelled to pay up Rs 53,000 crore, it may have to shut its shop in India.
The DoT source said that notices will also be sent to Tata Teleservices for recovery of full dues in a day or two. The company had paid Rs 2,197 crore to the government on Monday, while DoT's calculations peg the outstanding amount at over Rs 14,000 crore.
(With PTI inputs)