New Delhi: The ‘test checks’ as promised by the government on adjusted gross revenue (AGR)-hit telecom companies’ dues assessment could start this week for large telcos, according to a senior Department of Telecom (DoT) official.
The government also wants Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) to expedite its self-assessment, and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash is believed to have communicated DoT’s views in this regard to the company’s, CEO and MD Ravinder Takkar during a recent meeting Friday evening.
A DoT official said that ‘test checks’ of AGR calculation for a sample year would commence shortly and it could be as early as this week at least for large telecom companies.
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel said Saturday it has made payment of Rs 8,004 crore towards AGR dues to the government, an amount over and above Rs 10,000 crore it has already paid. The amount includes Rs 3,004 crore towards full and final settlement on AGR dues based on self assessment, and a deposit of buffer Rs 5,000 crore to cover DoT’s reconciliation differences.
“Based on the aforesaid payment we have now complied with AGR judgement and the directions in the order of the Supreme Court dated October 24, 2019,” Airtel said in a regulatory filing.
However, according to the DoT estimates, however, Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,000 crore.
DoT is also asking three telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices to provide substantiating documents to support their claims on AGR arithmetic.
Once substantiating documents are filed by the companies, the telecom department will initiate random ‘test checks’ on the AGR calculation in a time-bound manner said officials.
In all, 15 entities owe the government Rs 1.47 lakh crore in unpaid statutory dues – Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.