Airtel has approached the Supreme Court to appeal “arithmetic errors” by the Department of Telecommunications, the Economic Times reports. The errors have to do with the Adjusted Gross Revenue calculated by the government, based on which telcos are required to pay dues. Together, both Airtel and Vi reportedly owe one lakh crore rupees in AGR dues to the government, as ruled by the Supreme Court last year. While they have been allowed to pay these dues over a ten year period, 10% of the amount is required to be paid up by March this year. It is unclear whether the telco is objecting to the amount as calculated for this year or the overall dues payable.
Vi is also reportedly considering following suit. We have reached out to both the telcos for comment. “Assuming 8% interest rate, Bharti and VIL will now have to pay annually INR39bn and INR75bn respectively. With zero percent interest rate, this reduces to INR26b/INR50b respectively,” Hemang Jani, an analyst at Motilal Oswal Financial Services said at the time of the Supreme Court judgement. It is unclear whether a different petition has been filed or if the telcos are merely taking their objections to the calculation in a successive hearing in the same case that led to the 2020 order.