Article Timeline - Telecom AGR
Telecom companies (telcos) & Indian govt were debating on how telcos should be charged for using telecom spectrum. They decided on a revenue sharing model where govt would get 8% of the revenue earned by telcos. However, telcos did not pay this revenue between 2004-15 as govt insisted on including all the revenue, both telecom and non-telecom, for calculations (AGR). The developments from key SC judgement from 2019 are given below.
Supreme Court asks telcos to pay ₹90k cr in AGR dues & penalties to the govt. They are also told to pay spectrum usage charges, bringing the total to ~₹1.5lakh cr.
Sources: The Hindu, Economic Times
Telecom majors filed petitions to review the apex court's judgement on the AGR dues case. They seek a waiver on penalties and interest. The plea was rejected on Jan 17, 2020.
Sources: Times of India, The Quint
Indian telecom firms, led by Airtel & Vodafone, have appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking more time for payment of revenue dues they owe to the govt. Reliance Jio clears all its dues (totaling ~Rs200cr) in the AGR dues case on same day.
Sources: First Post, Livemint
SC asks telcos to pay overdue adjusted gross revenues before the next hearing on Mar 17. On Mar 4th, telcos paid Rs32k cr towards its AGR dues along with spectrum usage charges. They were asked to clear the dues of ~Rs1.5lakh cr in full by Mar 17.
Sources: Economic Times, Business Today
India asks its Supreme Court to allow telcos to pay the AGR dues over 20 years in instalments. The govt argues the companies would fail and cause job losses without the relaxation. SC rejects it the next day.
Sources: Times of India, Nikkei
India asked Airtel and Vodafone to pay 10% of their balance AGR dues by Mar 2021. The remaining is required to be paid in 10y starting from Apr 1, 2021.
Sources Business Standard, Livemint
Corporate bigwigs Vodafone Group & Aditya Birla Group may give up their stakes in telco Co Vodafone Idea. This comes amid the ailing telco’s inability to raise funds.
Sources: Hindustan Times, Business Insider
May 11, 22
Govt agrees to take ~35% stake in Vodafone in exchange of the over ₹16,000cr worth of dues.
Sources Economic Times, Livemint