On Monday. Bharti Airtel in a statement said that the company had paid ₹10,000 crores to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) towards outstanding Associated Gross Revenue (AGR) dues.
The company which owes nearly ₹35,586 crores to the Government in the form of AGR, has also made it clear that the remaining amount would subsequently be cleared, following a self-assessment exercise.
Bharti Airtel was quoted as saying, “The total amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor. We are in the process of completing the self-assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in the SC”
The statement came after the Supreme Court issued contempt proceedings against the company. The Union Government was also forced to issue a stringent order asking telcos to clear outstanding dues by Friday midnight. Reportedly, the Centre would have sent another notice with the updated penalty and punitive action, if payment was not made by Friday evening.
The company had previously announced that it would make the payment of ₹10,000 crores by February 20 and the remaining by March 17. Bharti Airtel also said that it will submit supporting details at the time of balance payment.
The Supreme Court had earlier observed that a desk officer from the Department of Telecommunication wrote a letter to the Attorney General and other authorities, saying that no coercive action should be taken against telcos for recovery of outstanding dues within the 90-day time-frame fixed by the apex court.
Different telecom giants, including Airtel, Vodafone and Tata collectively owe the government revenues worth over Rs 1.47 lakh crores.