Shares of Vodafone Idea rose as much as 23.5 percent on Monday to an intraday high of Rs 4.20. The telecom operator, along with Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices, is likely to make a payment towards their AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues on Monday to avoid punitive action from the Department of Telecom, a PTI report said citing sources.
The three companies are jointly liable to pay dues of over Rs 1 lakh crore, but they have informed the DoT of making only partial payment, as per their representatives, the report said. DoT will take action after evaluating the amount paid.
After shares of Vodafone Idea crashed over 22 percent on Friday over concerns of its viability as a business, the company in a stock exchange filing on Saturday said it is assessing the amount that it will be able to pay to DoT towards the dues calculated based on AGR and pay it in the next few days.
News reports also said that Airtel offered DoT a payment of Rs 10,000 crore by 20 February, but a DoT official said that the department can't grant any extension.
On Friday, the Supreme Court 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 DoT officers for staying coercive action against the telecom companies for recovery proceedings and 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 are collectively liable to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore in dues as per the 24 October order but none of the telecom operators, except Reliance Jio, paid the amount.
As per the last available estimates, Airtel owes nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charges, to the government.
Vodafone Idea is staring at dues worth Rs 53,000 crore, which includes up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee. Tata Teleservices owes around Rs 13,800 crore, BSNL Rs 4,989 crore and MTNL Rs 3,122 crore.