India operators edge toward AGR resolution - Mobile World Live

India operators edge toward AGR resolution

01 SEP 2020

India’s Supreme Court offered some relief to operators by giving them a decade to pay outstanding adjusted gross revenue (AGR) taxes, with an initial 10 per cent due by end-March 2021, The Economic Times (ET) reported.

The newspaper stated the court also ruled its decision to back the Department of Telecom’s (DoT) demand for the monies, albeit on an extended timeline, should be final. ET explained the court stated operators must provide personal guarantees for payments within four weeks.

Vodafone India, Bharti Airtel and other operators had repeatedly sought more time to pay a total of INR1.6 trillion ($21.9 billion) the government ruled they owed after revising the definition of AGR in October 2019.

The move placed a significant financial strain on operators.

In Q1, Vodafone Idea paid INR68.5 billion of a total INR530 billion the DoT ruled it owed. The operator had requested a 15 year payback period, including a three year moratorium, and sought a goods and services tax (GST) refund along with reductions in licence fees and spectrum usage charges.

Meanwhile, rival Bharti Airtel said it paid INR130 billion plus an addtional INR50 billion: the DoT placed its liability at INR356 billion.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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