SC Gives Telecom Companies 10 Years To Clear AGR Dues, Which Includes Vodafone Idea And Airtel

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In a huge relief for telecom companies, including Airtel Bharti and Vodafone Idea , the Supreme Court has granted telecom companies a period of 10 years to clear their pending adjusted gross revenue dues to the Central government.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, passing the order through video conferencing, asked the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to decide on spectrum trading as part of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

The top court had, on July 20, reserved its order on the timeline for the payment of AGR dues by telecom companies after observing that the request of telecom companies seeking 15 to 20 years for the payment of AGR dues in a staggered manner was unreasonable.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Central government through the Department of Telecommunication seeking the approval of a formula allowing telecom service providers to make annual installments of unpaid or remaining AGR dues in next 20 years or more.

The plea said if the telecom companies face proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, it will have adverse impacts on competition and service in the telecom sector.

The telecom companies, during the hearing, had also sought a period of 15-20 years for the repayment of AGR dues.On February 14, the Supreme Court had directed telecom companies to pay the AGR-related liabilities to the government by March 17. Thereafter, the telecom companies had partly or fully paid their self-assessed AGR dues to the Central government.

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