Telecom operators (Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, and Tata Teleservices) have finally filed the curative petition in the Supreme Court of India. The operators are asking for more time so that they can settle or pay their AGR dues to the government.
Telecom Operators Seek Time To Pay AGR Liabilities
The operators have filed a separate application, where Vodafone- Idea had mentioned that it is under a lot of financial stress. This is the second time the telcos have filed a petition. Earlier, the apex court has dismissed the review petition on January 16, where Airtel has to pay Rs. 35, 536 crore and Vodafone-Idea have to pay Rs. 50,000 crore to the government as AGR dues.
“Telcos should have filed a modification application much before the review plea. With only two days remaining, the chances to get immediate relief on the modification application are low. Nevertheless, this is the last attempt for help by the telcos. They will try and present a definite payment plan for the court to consider,” said Saurav Kumar, partner, IndusLaw was quoted by liveMint.
In October, the apex court of India had ordered against all telecom players and asked them to pay 1.47 lakh crore to the Department of Telecom as their AGR dues by January 23. However, Airtel has recently raised $3 billion to pay its AGR dues. But it still isn’t clear how Vodafone-Idea will pay the debt. The company has asked for the extension, so we can hope that the telco will come up with some strategy.
Meanwhile, PTI reported that the Supreme Court has agreed to listen to the fresh petition, made by telecom operators. The reports say that the bench of justices will take the issue next week. “We are not disputing the payment to be made by us rather we want working out of a fresh schedule of payment,” Justice CA Sundaram was quoted by the news agency.