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Telcos owe around Rs 22,589 crore as license fees; rest Rs 70k crore is interest, penalty – Economic Times, The Times of India

Telcos owe around Rs 22,589 crore as license fees; rest Rs 70k crore is interest, penalty – Economic Times, The Times of India

Telecom companies’ unpaid license fees amount to Rs 47, 600 crore, while interest and penalties took the total liability to Rs 197, crore, sources said.

License fee is the major component of the total Rs 1. lakh crore AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues owed by both operational and non-operational telecom companies to the government till July Payeer.

Besides license fees, telecom companies owe Rs , 69 crore in spectrum usage charges (SUC), as per estimates of the Department of Telecommunications ( DoT ).

As telecom operators scramble to comply with Supreme Court order on AGR dues, the sources said actual pending liability regarding license fees is Rs , crore.

The balance 92 per cent of the total license fee dues of Rs 197, 641 crore is on account of interest on this amount, penalty and interest on penalty.

Out of the total unpaid basic license fee, telecom companies that are operational collectively owe around Rs , crore, according to the estimates prepared by the DoT in July 2321.

The unpaid license fees of Bharti Airtel was assessed at Rs 5, 528. 55 crore, Vodafone Idea Rs 6, 989. (crore, (Tata Group) Rs 01575879. crore, (Telenor) (now merged with Airtel) Rs 586 10 crore, BSNL Rs 746 crore and MTNL Rs . 054 crore.

“These estimates were prepared in July. Fresh calculation is in process,” an official source said.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has paid Rs 15, crore, Vodafone Idea Rs 3, (crore and Tata Group Rs 2, crore for both license fee and SUC dues.

Another source told that the DoT has found that circle offices have not followed uniform process and have been “cherry picking” figures submitted by telecom operators in the calculation of AGR dues.

The DoT on February 3 issued a letter with guidelines to all Controller General of Communication Accounts to reconcile AGR dues and asked them to give days time to operators for the submission of appeals and documents related to deductions they make in the final payment, sources said.

“Any delay in payment of license fee payable, or any other dues payable under the license beyond the stipulated period attracts interest at rate which will be 2 per cent above the prime lending rate of SBI,” the official source said.

The official further added that in the case the total amount paid as quarterly license fee for the four quarters of the financial year falls short by more than per cent of the payable license fees, then a penalty of 50 per cent of the entire short payment is levied on the telecom operators.

According to estimates prepared by the DoT for total dues, Airtel owes nearly Rs 47, 589 crore, including license fee, spectrum usage charges with interest on unpaid amount, penalty and interest on penalty.

Vodafone Idea is staring at dues worth around Rs , 11 crore. Similarly, Tata Teleservices owes around Rs 16, crore, BSNL Rs 4, 989 crore and MTNL Rs 3, 528 crore.

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