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VodaIdea, Airtel may file review petition on AGR today

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New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Airtel and Vodafone Idea are in the process of filing review petition in the Supreme Court on Friday against the AGR judgment of the top court last month.

Both companies are to seek waiving of interest, penalty and relaxing 3 months timeframe to make payments after the Secretaries panel declined to offer any breather in view of the fact that any curative petition has to be filed within a month, sources said.

Airtel and Vodafone both declined to comment.

Review petitions are to be filed within a month of original decision which came on October 24.

As per original order, they are to pay the dues by January 24. Both have made Rs 74,000 crore losses on account of Rs 53000 crore provisioning for these dues payments.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecom companies owe the government as much as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past statutory dues, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Parliament on Wednesday, adding that there is no proposal at present to waive interest and penalties on such dues.

In replies to questions in the Lok Sabha, Prasad had said telecom companies owe the government Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee, and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charge (SUC).

In the case of Bharti Airtel, the liabilities add up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, of which Rs 21,682 crore is licence fee and another Rs 13,904 crore is the spectrum usage charge dues (not including the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).

In the case of Vodafone Idea, this number stands at a cumulative Rs 53,038 crore, including Rs 24,729 crore of SUC dues and Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee.

The government made it clear that it is not considering any proposal on waiver of penalties and interest on outstanding licence fee based on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), or on extending the timelines for telecom companies to pay up their statutory dues.

"No such proposal is under consideration of the government as on date," Prasad said while responding to specific questions on whether the government proposes to provide a waiver for penalties and interest on the non-payment of license fee on AGRs by telecom operators and also on whether it is consider ing extending the time limit for the payment of license fee, penalty, interest and other dues.

 

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