New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) The government on Thursday ruled out any waiver or lowering of interest, penalty or interest on penalty on unpaid statutory dues of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea based on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).
This was conveyed in the Rajya Sabha by Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written reply to a query on whether there is any such proposal.
The telcos have filed review petitions in the Supreme Court on AGR dues, seeking waiver of penalties and interest charges. Vodafone Idea owes Rs 54,000 crore as AGR dues while Bharti Airtel owes 43,000 crore. In all, the telcos owe Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the government as AGR dues.
Licence fee and spectrum usage charge (SUC) are calculated on the basis of AGR. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel are desperate to have penalties and interests waived off, failing which their survival could be in question.
The operators are challenging the imposition of penalty on the grounds that the government never raised its final demands. What were raised were provisional demands which were legally disputed by the operators.