AGR marathon hearing LIVE: Jio says paid RCom spectrum sharing deal dues; SC wants insolvent firms’ dues paid
SC AGR Hearing LIVE: The Supreme Court, in a marathon session today, continues hearing the case on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of insolvent telecom companies including Reliance Communications, which amounts to Rs 45,000 crore. The SC in its previous hearing on Tuesday said that it can not leave the dues like that and someone will have to pay it. A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah will hear the matter at 2.45 PM. Yesterday, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Reliance Jio, informed the SC that Reliance Jio has already paid Rs 195 crore as its AGR dues which included spectrum sharing charge of Reliance Communications. Salve made it clear that there is no question of one operator paying dues of another operator. Salve also said under the tripartite license agreement (between government, banks and telcos), the government has recognised the idea of the spectrum as security to be used by telcos to raise funds. Without license, infrastructure like towers etc, will be useless. While RCom has AGR dues worth Rs 25,000 crore, Aircel’s is around Rs 12,389 crore.
Meanwhile, the decision on staggered payment of AGR dues by telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices is still awaited. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have scaled their demand to a 15-year timeline from 20 years earlier. While Tata Teleservices said it was comfortable with a 7-10 year period. So far, Bharti Airtel has paid nearly Rs 18,000 crore and Vodafone Idea has paid a total of Rs 7,854 crore to DoT towards the AGR dues.