After hearing a decision from the Supreme Court, Airtel said that it can pay Rs. 10,000 crore by February 20, to the Department of Telecom. Airtel intimated that it will clear the rest of the dues after the next hearing. The announcement comes after DOT asked operators to clear their dues as soon as possible.
“Nevertheless, in compliance with the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and their direction today, we shall deposit a sum of Rs 10,000 crore (on account) by 20th February 2020, on behalf of the Bharti Group companies,” Airtel said in a letter to Member (Finance) at the ministry. It is worth mentioning that Airtel owes a debt of Rs. 35,000 crore. It includes both the license and the spectrum fee.”You will appreciate this is a complicated process, covering 22 circles, multiple licenses and a substantial period of time and hence is time-consuming,” the letter was quoted by PTI. Airtel also said that they are doing self-assessment exercises. The Supreme Court has asked telecom operators to clear their dues by March 17.
The Court has ordered them to pay 1.47 lakh crore to the ministry. Meanwhile, Economic Times reported that if Vodafone-Idea collapses, Airtel will be in trouble, as both are sharing infrastructure. The report stated that it will increase the cost of network and customer service. “Bharti may have a tough time continuing its low-cost model if VIL breathes its last,” said SBICap Securities research head Rajiv Sharma. Notably, Vodafone has posted a net loss of Rs. 6,438 crore in December quarter. The loss was higher than expected. But, it is surely less than its loss in Q2. The result comes after the Supreme Court has asked Vodafone to pay more than Rs. 50,000 dues to the telecom ministry. It is worth mentioning that Vodafone has already cleared its stand it will be very difficult for them to sustain if they won’t get benefits from the government.