Bharti Airtel pays Rs 10,000 cr as a part of its AGR dues to telecom department

The first AGR payment came to government as Airtel on Monday paid Rs 10,000 crore dues to the Department of Telecom (DoT).

The company said it is paying Rs 10,000 crore in compliance with the Supreme Court order.

It paid Rs 9,500 crore on behalf of Bharti Airtel and Telenor which has merged with the parent company and Rs 500 crore for Bharti Hexacom, its subsidiary.

Further, it said it is in the process of self assessment of accounts and and will duly make the balance payments before the next date of hearing (March 17). Earlier, the government had asked the defaulting telecom firms to pay their dues by 11.59 pm on Friday, February 14. After the government's order, Airtel had offered to pay Rs 10,000 crore by February 20 and the rest before next date of hearing in Supreme Court.

"Is there no law left in the country", an anguished Supreme Court asked on Friday while directing the top echelons of telecom firms to explain why contempt action should not be taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay adjusted gross revenue of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the telecom department.

Taking strong note of the non-compliance of its order, the top court expressed displeasure over an order passed by the Department of Telecom's desk officer staying the effect of its verdict in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter.

The telecom department has withdrawn its order that asked for no coercive action against telecom companies defaulting on statutory dues payment after the Supreme Court on Friday took a strong view of non-compliance with its order.

The order also directs field offices to take "immediate necessary action" in compliance with the October judgment of the Supreme Court.

According to telecom department, Bharti Airtel owes Rs 35,500 crore to DoT.

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