DoT orders telcos to clear dues by midnight

NEW DELHI: The department of telecom (DoT) on Friday ordered telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and others to pay their AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues by 11:59 pm today.
The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to firms, an order seen by news agency PTI said.
The order comes just hours after the apex court issued notice to the companies and their directors directing them to explain why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against them for not complying with its order to pay AGR of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the DoT.
The court had asked the operators to deposit the amount by March 17.
Telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices had approached the SC in January, seeking modification in the top court’s verdict in the AGR matter.
Voda Idea owes over Rs 50,000 crore to DoT, while Bharti Airtel has to pay over Rs 35,500 crore. Tata Teleservices, which sold its mobile services business to Airtel, has dues of nearly Rs 14,000 crore.
Reliance Jio is the only company which has paid its dues of Rs 60 crore. The amount was significantly lower than others as the company started its operations in 2016.
(With agency inputs)

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