DoT seeks legal view to recover dues

NEW dELHI: The division of telecom (DoT) has sought the opinion of Solicitor Normal Tushar Mehta and different prime authorized minds on invoking financial institution ensures (working into a number of thousand crore of rupees) for “delays” in realising “full dues” from cellular operators, who had been ordered to pay dues as much as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in three months, following the October 24 AGR (adjusted gross revenues) judgement by the Supreme Courtroom.
On Monday, cellular operators — primarily Bharti Airtel, Tata group and most-troubled Vodafone Thought — scrambled to make part-payments to the federal government and made guarantees of clearing the dues earlier than the following listening to within the prime courtroom on March 17.
The businesses paid a complete of Rs 14,697 crore to the telecom ministry, with Bharti Airtel paying Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 9,500 crore for Airtel and Telenor and Rs 500 crore for Bharti Hexacom), Vodafone Thought submitting Rs 2,500 crore, and Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Rs 2,197 crore. Vodafone Thought, whose petition to thwart coercive motion by DoT was rejected by the Supreme Courtroom earlier within the day, additionally promised to pay one other Rs 1,000 crore by week-end.
Sources within the ministry instructed TOI that Mehta had been approached over the weekend because the telecom ministry needs to go “strictly by the rule-book this time around” after receiving extreme censure from the Supreme Courtroom over rest given to telcos.
“We will go by the rules, and the licensing agreement. The agreement clearly stipulates that the government has the right to invoke bank guarantees in case of payment defaults after notices have been served. If this is not found to be sufficient, then in extreme cases and after a show-cause notice, the government even reserves the right to cancel telecom licence,” a supply mentioned, although including, “the last resort is still not being contemplated as crores of mobile subscribers may get hit.”
Sources mentioned highest-levels within the authorities — together with PMO — are seized of the matter since an excessive step might disrupt the cellular connectivity of crores of subscribers. For instance, each Vodafone Thought and Airtel have over 30 crore subscribers every.
The telecom division has sought over Rs 53,000 from Vodafone Thought, round Rs 35,000 crore from Airtel, whereas looking for practically Rs 14,000 crore from Tatas. Nevertheless, the businesses don’t agree with these findings, and have been doing their very own math, particularly as they’ve been requested to do self-assessment.

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