Bharti pays an additional $1.1bn to India’s DoT – but has it now wiped out its AGR debts?

Published: 1 March 2020 - 6:50 a.m.

Bharti Airtel has paid an additional $1.1 billion (8,000 crore rupees) to India’s Department of Telecoms towards its outstanding dues.

As a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling over the way Indian telcos calculate their adjusted growth revenues (AGR), India’s telecoms operators owe an estimated $13 billion to the Department of Telecoms.

The Department of Telecoms has estimated that Bharti Airtel owed as much as $4.89 billion (35,000 crore rupees), as its share of the AGR liabilities.

Airtel disputes that amount and announced that it would be conducting a self-assessment exercise to discern exactly how much it owed.

In February, Bharti Airtel made an initial payment of $1.38 billion (10,000 crore rupees) before commencing the self-assessment exercise. Saturday’s payment brings the total Bharti Airtel has paid to $2.48 billion (18,000 crore rupees), with India’s third biggest telco now saying that it considers the matter closed.

“The company paid an additional amount of 3,004 crore rupees ($415 million) towards the full and final amounts due over and above the ad-hoc amount of 10,000 crore rupees paid on February 17, 2020, on behalf of Bharti Group of Companies,” the company said in a statement to the press.

“We have also deposited an additional amount of 5,000 crore rupees ($700m million) as an ad-hoc payment, subject to the subsequent refund/adjustment to cover differences, if any arise from the reconciliation exercise with the DoT.

“Based on the aforementioned payment we have now complied with AGR judgement and the directions in order of the Supreme Court, dated October 24, 2019.”

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