By Anjana Das
New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The Department of Telecom will issue a separate deadline for AGR dues payment to the non-telecom companies (mostly PSUs) since the Supreme Court mandated timeline does not apply to them, official sources said.
“The January 23 deadline is not applicable to them (the non telecom companies or the PSUs). There will be a separate date of compliance for non-telecom companies which we will intimate them.
“They don’t fall under January 23 deadline as it is a Supreme Court fixed timeline for telecom companies for those who had approached the court (Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices).
“The non-telcos like GNFC, Gail, PGCIL have been paying their dues and are raising a few queries on the amount we have sent them. Those doubts and queries are also being clarified. They are in touch with us,” the source associated with the development said.
As per the SC order of October 24, incumbent telecom companies — Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices will have the deadline of January 23 to pay the AGR dues irrespective of their modification plea, currently listed for hearing next week in the apex court.
While telecom companies have sought modifications in the October 24 order of the Supreme Court and have moved the top court, none of the non-telecom companies which are mostly PSUs have moved court.
Though Oil India has said it may move the telecom tribunal.
Ironically, the demand raised from non-telcos are in some companies greater than the telcos or more or less equal in some.
The total amount of dues to be recovered from non-telco PSUs could be around Rs 3 lakh crore whereas the dues of only the telcos adds up to Rs 1.47 lakh crore.
These PSUs have also been asked to pay their licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues, not only on telecom-related revenues but on total revenues as per the October 24 Supreme Court order.
Notices have also been issued to SAIL, PGCIL, RailTel and PowerGrid also.
In case of PGCIL, telecom services contribute about 2 per cent to the company’s revenue, while power transmission accounts for nearly 95 per cent. The company made Rs 742 crore in 2018-19 from its telecom business, which puts the licence fee at Rs 59 crore, according to the company communication to DoT.
The department has sought Rs 21,000 crore liability payment from PGCIL.
The DoT has demanded Rs 1.72 lakh crore AGR dues from state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd following the Supreme Court’s AGR ruling on IP-1 and IP-2 licences, as well as Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence.
It has also sent a Rs 48,500 crore notice to Oil India and a demand notice of Rs 15,019 crore in additional payment against its V-SAT and ISP licences for the period between 2005-06 and 2018-19 Gujarat Narmada Fertiliser and Chemcials Ltd (GNFC).
(Anjana Das can be contacted at [email protected])