Bharti Airtel says Directorate General of Foreign Trade removed its name from blacklist

  • The removal of Bharti Airtel's name from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) blacklist is expected to come as a relief to the telecom operator which is otherwise staring at billions of dollars in past statutory dues

  • The company, in a statement on Friday, said its has now been removed from the denied entry list after it highlighted the relevant details and documents submitted to the DGFT

  • Earlier this week, the firm said it was working to get its name removed from the list, and had asserted that DGFT's latest action does not limit its ability to undertake future imports or exports

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel on Friday said its name has now been removed from the denied entry list for non-fulfilment of export obligation under an export promotion scheme.

The removal of Bharti Airtel's name from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) blacklist is expected to come as a relief to the telecom operator which is otherwise staring at billions of dollars in past statutory dues.

The company, in a statement on Friday, said its has now been removed from the denied entry list after it highlighted the relevant details and documents submitted to the DGFT.

"We are actively engaged with the authorities to complete the formalities and provide additional documents for closure of the remaining cases," the company said.

Earlier this week, the firm said it was working to get its name removed from the list, and had asserted that DGFT's latest action does not limit its ability to undertake future imports or exports.

 Bharti Airtel says Directorate General of Foreign Trade removed  its name from blacklist

Representational image. Reuters

The DGFT, which is under the Commerce Ministry, had put the company under the list, commonly known as blacklist, for non-fulfilment of export obligation in respect of certain Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) authorisation issued to it.

Under the EPCG, an export promotion scheme, import of capital goods is allowed at zero customs duty. Capital goods imported at zero duty must fulfil EPCG export obligation equivalent to six times of duty saved, as per the scheme.

The telecom industry is in the midst of a major crisis and as many as 15 entities owe the government Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.

These liabilities arose after the Supreme Court in October last year held that non-core revenues have to be considered for calculating statutory dues from adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

In the case of Bharti Airtel, the liabilities added up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, of which Rs 21,682 crore is licence fee and another Rs 13,904.01 crore is the spectrum usage charge dues (not including the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).

Vodafone Idea -- which is staring at unpaid statutory dues of Rs 53,038 crore, including Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee -- has already warned of shutdown if no relief is given.

Most of the remaining liability is with state-owned BSNL/MTNL and some of the shut/bankrupt telecom companies.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Tata Teleservices have, meanwhile, jointly filed a modification application in the Supreme Court seeking more time to pay the statutory dues.

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Updated Date: Jan 31, 2020 12:11:16 IST