Mounting pile: Bharti Airtel’s liabilities add up to nearly ₹35,586 cr., of which ₹21,682 cr. is for licence fees. Reuters  

Bharti to make ₹10,000 cr. part payment in AGR dues by Feb. 20

Promises to clear remaining dues ‘well before’ March 17, the date of next hearing


Bharti Airtel on Friday committed to deposit a part payment of ₹10,000 crore as part of its adjusted gross revenue-related dues by February 20, 2020, and promised to clear the remaining dues ‘well before’ March 17, the next date of the court hearing on the issue.

This follows the Supreme Court’s Friday order asking the managing directors and directors of companies, including telecom majors Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, to show cause as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for failing to pay even a ‘single penny’ to the government despite an October 2019 judgment of the apex court. “In compliance with the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and their direction today, we shall deposit a sum of ₹10,000 crore [on account] by February 20, 2020, on behalf of the Bharti Group companies (Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom and Telenor India),” the company said in a letter addressed to the Member (Finance) at the Telecom Ministry.

Bharti Airtel’s liabilities add up to nearly ₹35,586 crore, of which ₹21,682 crore is towards licence fee and ₹13,904.01 crore, SUC dues (excluding dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).

‘Complicated process’

In the letter, accessed by The Hindu, Bharti Airtel said as per directions from the department, the firm was in the process of completing the self assessment exercises. “You will appreciate this is a complicated process, covering 22 circles, multiple licences and a substantial period of time and hence, is time consuming,” it said.

The company added that it was confident of completing the self-assessment exercise shortly and “make the balance payment, well before the next date of hearing fixed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”