Supreme Court gives 10 years to Telecom Companies to pay AGR dues

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, a period of 10 years to pay their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, amounting to about Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

The three-member bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said the 10-year timeline to pay AGR dues will begin from April 1, 2021, and the payments will have to be made in installments till March 31, 2031.

The apex court had reserved its order on July 20 after observing that the request of telecom companies requesting for 15 to 20 years to clear their AGR dues was unreasonable.

The Central government through the Department of Telecommunication filed a petition, seeking the approval of a formula, which will allow telecom companies to pay their AGR dues in a staggered manner spread over 20 years.

In its verdict, the Supreme Court also said that non-payment of annual installments will incur penalties, interest, and contempt of court.