Tata Sons may pay the mandatory dues that its subsidiary Tata Teleservices owes to the Department of Telecom. The parent company has reportedly initiated the process for arranging funds even as the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the modification petition filed by five non-telecom companies this week, said a news report.
Tata Sons may depend on Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for funds to pay the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of Rs 13,823 crore owed by the group's telecom subsidiary, Tata Teleservices, said a report in The Economic Times.
The holding company's finance team is searching for funds from other sources as well if a crisis arises, the report said.
Two weeks ago, Tata Sons was trying to raise around Rs 14,000 crore from banks and through internal accruals to pay the AGR dues of Tata Teleservices before the 23 January deadline, according to to a report in Business Standard.
Tata Tele, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, along with Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra), which was operating in the Maharashtra and Goa circles, ha already made provisions for the AGR dues payment, said the report quoting sources.
On 24 January, the apex court had agreed to hear the modification petitions filed by public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the AGR order that made non-telecom firms holding licences for internal communications and signalling liable to pay licence fees on their entire revenue, even if they do not offer telecom services, said a report in Mint.
The Supreme Court may hear the petitions of the companies by next week, the report said.
Last week, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had communicated to the Department of Telecom (DoT) that they would not pay AGR dues of Rs 88,624 crore before the deadline which ended on 23 January. The telcos said that they would wait for the outcome of modification petition listed for hearing before the Supreme Court next week.
Both companies have requested the Department of Telecom (DoT) to give them time to make payment based on the outcome of their modification petition listed for hearing before the Supreme Court next week, sources said.
The apex court had set 23 January as the deadline to pay AGR dues.
Telecom companies 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 held that non-telecom revenues have to be considered for calculating statutory dues.
Outstanding SUC (spectrum usage charges) dues of various telecom service providers as on 31 October, 2019, added to Rs 55,054 crore.
The government has directed the licensees to make the payments in accordance with the order of the Supreme Court dated 24 October, 2019, and submit requisite documents within the stipulated time frame.
On 20 January, three telecom firms—Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices — had jointly filed a modification application in the Supreme Court seeking more time to pay the AGR dues to the government.
On 16 January, the Supreme Court dismissed the plea of telecom majors, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, seeking review of certain directions of the Supreme Court on recovery of past dues amounting to Rs 1.47 lakh crore from telecom service providers.
— With PTI inputs
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Updated Date: Jan 29, 2020 14:20:26 IST