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DoT examining if Jan 23 legal deadline for AGR payment applies to non-telecom PSUs

The telecom department is analyzing the legal applicability of January 23 deadline for payment of more than 2.4 trillion statutory dues in the event of non-telecom PSUs that were not initially celebration to AGR matter from the Supreme Court, according to resources.

PTI PTI
New Delhi Updated on: January 19, 2020 13:18 IST
DoT examining if Jan 23 legal deadline for AGR payment

DoT examining if Jan 23 legal deadline for AGR payment applies to non-telecom PSUs

The telecom department is analyzing the legal applicability of January 23 deadline for payment of more than 2.4 trillion statutory dues in the event of non-telecom PSUs that were not initially celebration to AGR matter from the Supreme Court, according to resources.

Resources at the Department of Telecom (DoT) told PTI that although the PSUs also have been requested to make payments linked to statutory obligations (following the SC at October declared government’s standing on calculation of non-core earnings for AGR dues), the bigger question is if the January 23 deadline is legally enforceable on state-owned businesses which weren’t direct party to the dispute.

The present view that’s emerging at the DoT seems to be the the court-imposed deadline might not use to PSUs, but the thing has been officially examined for clarity.

“Obviously, the court has determined the problem of principle of what’s AGR, so that they (PSUs) must cover but if they don’t cover by January 23 it won’t be contempt since it’s going to be in the event of those parties to the situation. So PSUs need to cover and we’ve increased requirements, however if they don’t cover by January 23 it won’t amount to contempt of court in their part as they weren’t party to the situation, but they must cover,” a source added.

Another official also stated that the problem of deadline for PSUs has been analyzed lawfully. Telecom firms Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, are legally bound to obey the payment timelines given by the apex court.

After the Supreme Court order of October this past year, the DoT estimated that the entire liability of 15 telecom businesses, including interest and penalties, would be Rs . 47 trillion.

These AGR obligations arose following the Supreme Court in October last year declared the government’s position on adding earnings from non-telecommunication companies for calculating the yearly AGR of telecom businesses, a share of that is compensated as license and spectrum fees into the exchequer.

It’s estimated another Rs 2.4 trillion in accountability for non-telecom businesses, such as state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd and electricity transmission company PowerGrid, that had shot licences to exchange broadband on optic fibre running in their pipelines and transmission lines.

The DoT has sought Rs . 72 trillion in previous statutory dues from state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd after the Supreme Court’s AGR judgment. The DoT delivered a letter to GAIL a month trying these dues on IP-1 and IP-2 licences in addition to Internet Service Provider (ISP) permit, in reaction to that, GAIL has advised DoT it owes nothing greater than that which it’s paid to the authorities.

The evaluation places PowerGrid liability at Rs 21,000 crore, as well as yet another Rs 40,000 crore accountability was evaluated of Oil India Ltd.. But a requirement notice was served in the event of Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd for Rs 15,019 crore.

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