Bharti Airtel in a statement on Monday said that it has paid Rs 9,500 crore and Rs 500 crore on behalf of Bharti Hexacom Ltd. to the Department of Telecom.
As per the last available estimates, Airtel owed nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charges, to the government. This will be its first set of payment towards the dues.
"We are in a process of completing the self-assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same before the next hearing of Supreme Court," the company added.
The payment comes after the Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the review petitions that were filed by Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservice seeking more time for payment of AGR dues.
The apex court also threatened contempt proceedings against the telecom operators for failing to meet the court-directed deadline.
On 24 October 2019, the Court had upheld DoT's definition of AGR and asked telecom operators to pay their dues with interest to the government by 23 January.
AGR is DoT's measure to calculate levies payable by operators. Telcos argued that AGR should comprise revenue from telecom services, but DoT insisted that AGR should include all revenue earned by an operator, including that from non-core telecom operations.
Telecom operators, including government-run BSNL and MTNL, are collectively liable to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore in dues as per the 24 October order.