AGR liabilities at Rs 21,533 cr as per self-assessment, says Vodafone Concept; Group CEO Nick Learn meets telecom minister

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New Delhi: Beleaguered Vodafone Concept Ltd on Friday put its complete dues to the federal government following a Supreme Court docket order at Rs 21,533 crore — lower than half of what the Division of Telecommunications (DoT) has estimated.

On a day when Vodafone Group CEO Nick Learn met high ministers, together with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the UK telecom big’s India three way partnership, Vodafone Concept Ltd in an announcement stated it has already paid Rs 3,500 crore out of the “self-assessed” legal responsibility of Rs 21,533 crore.

The DoT, following the Supreme Court docket ruling in October final 12 months which stated that each one sorts of earnings generated by telecom firms shall be thought-about for calculating authorities dues, had estimated Vodafone Concept’s liabilities at over Rs 53,000 crore.

On March 4, Minister of State for Communications & IT Sanjay Dhotre, in a written reply to a query within the Lok Sabha, acknowledged that Concept Mobile owed the federal government Rs 15,230.37 crore and Vodafone Group of Firms one other Rs 37,808.23 crore. Out of the entire Rs 53,038.6 crore due from Vodafone Concept, a sum of Rs 3,500 crore has been obtained, he had stated.

On Friday, the corporate, which was fashioned following the merger of Concept and Vodafone, in an announcement stated it has “filed its self-assessment of the AGR liabilities with the Department of Telecommunications. The self-assessment discloses the company’s AGR liabilities to aggregate Rs 21,533 crores including a principal amount of Rs 6,854 crores for the period from FY 2006-07 to FY 2018-19 and interest up to February 2020.”

“The company has already paid a sum of Rs 2,500 crores on 17 February, 2020, and a further sum of Rs 1,000 crores on 20 February, 2020, towards this liability,” it added.

On an analogous self-assessment sample, Bharti Airtel paid Rs 13,004 crore to the federal government in two installments.

It had additionally deposited a further Rs 5,000 crore “as an ad-hoc payment (subject to subsequent refund/adjustment) to cover differences, if any, arising from the reconciliation exercise with the DoT,” it had stated on 29 February.

The entire payout by Bharti Airtel was half of Rs 35,586.01 crore legal responsibility estimated by the DoT.

Dhotre within the reply had acknowledged that Bharti Airtel owed Rs 21,682 crore in licence charge and one other Rs 13,904.01 crore in spectrum utilization prices.

Equally, Vodafone Concept owed Rs 28,309 crore in licence charge and one other Rs 24,729.23 crore in spectrum prices.

In line with the DoT, 16 telecom firms owed the federal government a complete of Rs 146,336.98 crore as a fallout of the Supreme Court docket ruling.

No particulars of the discussions Learn had with Sitharaman and Prasad have been instantly accessible.

Vodafone holds 45.2 % stake in Vodafone Concept the place Aditya Birla Group is the opposite promoter.

Rising from the over 30-minute assembly with Prasad, Learn refused to touch upon whether or not the British telecom big will exit India, saying, “No comments.”

Vodafone Concept has been on the forefront of searching for a bailout bundle from the legal responsibility imposed by the Supreme Court docket ruling.

It had not too long ago instructed the federal government that it could not be capable of pay the complete dues except state help is prolonged to outlive the disaster.

The corporate has made a powerful plea for setting off Rs 8,000 crore of GST credit in opposition to a part of the legal responsibility. For the remaining dues, it needs fee to be staggered over 15 years at a easy rate of interest of 6 % after a three-year moratorium. It additionally needs drastic cuts in licence charge and fixing of a minimal value for calls and knowledge.

Vodafone Concept Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has held a number of rounds of discussions on the telecom and finance ministries over the previous few weeks to search for an answer to maintain the corporate’s operations on monitor.

In December, Birla had stated Vodafone Concept could should shut store if there isn’t any aid on the statutory dues. “If we are not getting anything, then I think it is the end of the story for Vodafone Idea,” Birla had stated. “It does not make sense to put good money after bad… We will shut shop.”

Even Learn had not too long ago acknowledged that the scenario in India is important, following the Supreme Court docket’s AGR ruling.

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