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AGR Issue: Supreme Court Asks Telecom Firms To Pay Rs. 1.47 Lakh Crore

Priyanka Dua

Another major setback for telecom operators as Supreme Court has directed them to pay AGR dues by March 17, 2020. The apex court has rejected the review petition by operators, which says that they need more time to pay the dues.

The decision comes after hearing the plea of Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Tata Teleservices. In fact, the Supreme Court said: "There is no respect for the court, reported Economic Times. "We don't know who is creating this nonsense. Is there no law left in the country? It is better not to live in this country and rather leave the country," the bench said.

Further, the bench asked them to pay the sizeable amount until Friday. In October 2019, the Supreme Court has directed them to pay Rs. 1.47 lakh crore to the Department of Telecom.

The AGR issue is an old dispute between DOT and operators. The government wants them to tax on all income they received. But, operators want DOT to change the definition of AGR.

It is worth noting that the Reliance Jio has already paid its AGR dues to the ministry. While Airtel has to pay Rs. 35,000 crore and Vodafone Idea has to pay Rs. 53,000 crore. However, Vodafone has cleared its stand and said they are totally dependent on the positive outcome.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea posted a net loss of Rs. 6, 438.8 crore in Q32020. The loss was somehow higher than the expectation. The company recorded Rs. 50,992 crore loss in Q2 of this financial year.

"After several quarters of pressure on topline, we witnessed consistent revenue turnaround from September onwards-before the recent price hikes," Vodafone Idea chief executive officer Ravinder Takkar said in a statement. "The tariff increase effective December should help improve revenue performance. We are on track to deliver our opex synergy targets by April-June," he added.

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