Tata Tele moves SC seeking AGR dues recalculation

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Mumbai: Tata Teleservices has moved the Supreme Court appealing for a recalculation of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. The telco follows Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) in approaching the apex court to highlight alleged errors in the telecom department’s calculations.

TTSL told the court that the demands of the Department of Telecommunications exceeded its deemed revenue and added up to more than the book balance, according to lawyers familiar with the matter. It pointed out that double-counting and erroneously added monthly interest and penalties should be rectified and adjusted. Tata Tele didn’t respond to ET’s emailed queries.

The telco has AGR dues of Rs 16,798 crore and it has paid Rs 4,197 crore so far. Last year, TTSL paid DoT Rs 2,197 crore as per its self-assessment of AGR dues and then an additional Rs 2,000 crore, which the telco said was “in good faith and as a matter of abundant caution towards licence fees, spectrum usage charges and applicable interest, penalty and interest on penalty.” The operator, which sold its mobile phone service business to Airtel, now has to pay the remainder of the amount demanded by DoT over 10 annual instalments, ending in March 2031.

Vi has appealed to the court to modify or clarify its order to allow the government to consider the telco’s submissions on the calculation errors and rectify them accordingly. Vi has to pay Rs 58,400 crore in AGR dues, of which it has paid Rs 7,854 crore. The telco had self-assessed its dues at Rs 21,533 crore, which the Supreme Court had rejected. Airtel has sought modification, clarification or recall of “mistaken orders” that allowed the government to demand Rs 43,980 crore as AGR dues against the telco’s calculation of Rs 13,004 crore.

Both telcos highlighted the manifold increase in AGR dues as a result of these arithmetical errors. Earlier appeals by the telcos to allow self-assessment of their dues during the AGR case hearings were rejected by the court. Their last batch of letters to DoT on this issue have not elicited any response.





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