Indian operator Bharti Airtel wrote to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to confirm its first payment in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) due, in a bid to bring clarity to the complicated process.
Comms Update citing The Economic Times (ET) reported, Sanjay Dhotre minister of state for communications noted there seems to be a difference in understanding of the AGR ruling. He stated operators are required to pay 10% by the end of March to the DoT, however previous payments made by companies were not acknowledged.
Airtel already paid INR180.04 billion ($2.45 billion) towards its total bill of INR439.80 billion, which equates to more than 40 per cent of the total bill, meaning next payment for the operator is not until March 31, 2022, The Economic Times reported.
Vodafone Idea (rebranded to Vi) reportedly told Indian media the operator had until the end of the next financial year to pay its first instalment, after making its first payment of INR78.54 billion to the total of INR582.54 billion. This contradicts Dhotre stating to parliament Vi only paid INR35 billion.
The court ruled on September 1, operators must pay 10% of total AGR dues by March 31, 2021, with the rest to be paid by 2031.
In some positive news for operators, rating agency Moody reportedly upgraded its outlook for Bharti Airtel from negative to stable, noting that the AGR ruling will ‘alleviate pressure on cash flow and help improve operating flexibility’.