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DoT’s test checks on telcos’ AGR dues assessment may start soon: Report

The “test checks” as promised by the government on AGR-hit telecom companies’ dues assessment could begin this 7 days for massive telcos, in accordance to a senior DoT formal.

The government also desires Vodafone Concept to expedite its self-assessment, and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash is thought to have communicated DoT’s sights in this regard to VIL, CEO and MD Ravinder Takkar in the course of a the latest conference on Friday night.

A DoT formal explained that “test checks” of AGR calculation for a sample calendar year would begin shortly and it could be as early as this 7 days at least for massive telecom firms.

On Saturday, telecom operator Bharti Airtel explained it has created payment of Rs eight,004 crore in the direction of adjusted gross earnings (AGR) dues to the government, an sum in excess of and previously mentioned Rs ten,000 crore it has previously paid out.

The sum of Rs eight,004 crore features Rs 3,004 crore in the direction of whole and last settlement on AGR dues primarily based on self assessment, and a deposit of buffer Rs 5,000 crore to go over DoT’s reconciliation discrepancies.

“Centered on the aforesaid payment we have now complied with AGR judgement and the directions in the get of the Supreme Court dated October 24, 2019,” Airtel explained in a regulatory filing.

In accordance to the Section of Telecom (DoT) estimates, even so, Airtel owes virtually Rs 35,000 crore.

DoT is also asking a few telecom firms Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Concept and Tata Teleservices to give substantiating files to support their statements on AGR arithmetic.

At the time substantiating files are filed by the firms, the telecom office will initiate random ‘test checks’ on the AGR calculation in a time-bound manner.

The ‘test check’ will be done for any one calendar year (of telcos’ dues) to look at the deviation between telecom companies’ assessment and the government’s own calculation of AGR liabilities.

In all, 15 entities owe the government Rs 1.47 lakh crore in unpaid statutory dues — Rs ninety two,642 crore in unpaid licence payment and a further Rs 55,054 crore in remarkable spectrum usage expenses.

Of the believed dues that incorporate desire and penalty for late payments, Airtel and Vodafone Concept account for about 60 for each cent.

These dues arose following the Supreme Court, in October past calendar year, upheld the government’s posture on which include earnings from non-main businesses in calculating the once-a-year AGR of telecom firms, a share of which is paid out as licence and spectrum payment to the exchequer.

The Supreme past month rejected a plea by cellular carriers these as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Concept for extension in the payment timetable and asked firms to deposit their previous dues for spectrum and licences.

Because then, telecom firms and the telecom ministry experienced been undertaking individual maths on the genuine dues.

Vodafone Concept, which is confronted with Rs 53,000 crore in statutory dues as for each DoT’s calculation, has so considerably paid out only 7 for each cent of all those dues in two tranches. Airtel has paid out in excess of Rs 18,000 crore out of its DoT believed legal responsibility of in excess of Rs 35,000 crore.

Tata Teleservices has paid out Rs 2,197 crore, the entire remarkable it believes to have arisen following the October ruling of the apex court docket for calculating dues.

Equally Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal and Vodafone Concept Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla continued to satisfy best government functionaries in excess of the past handful of times to seek out prompt measures that would give a breather to the troubled sector.

Mittal has urged the government for reduction in levies and taxes, as he termed the AGR “an unparalleled disaster for sector”.

Even as the AGR-disaster has pushed telcos to the brink, the crucial conference of Digital Communications Fee (DCC) on Friday discussed selections on reduction to the distressed telecom sector but could not get there at a decision, as government officials explained extra details are required for reconciliation of information on statutory dues.

Telecom firms have been desparately waiting for a bailout package deal from the Govt following an SC-get on statutory dues, and all eyes were on the DCC satisfy for the much-required breather to correct the AGR imbroglio.