“The three telcos have made their payments and there has been no delays, which is a good sign. The January-March quarter dues need to come in by March 25, if there is small balance, that is paid by end of March since its the financial year closing,” said an industry executive aware of the development.
Cash-strapped Vi had delayed its payment in the earlier quarters, but has paid on time this time around. In the latest set of dues, each circle makes its payments depending on the revenue for the three months and although the final amount is yet to be added up by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the amounts are similar to what telcos paid last quarter.
According to numbers of the last quarter ended December 31, Airtel had paid around Rs 1,600 crore, Jio about Rs 2,000 crore and Vi paid Rs 1,000 crore. The three did not respond to ET’s queries. The payment comes at a time when Airtel and Vi have mammoth AGR dues of about Rs 26,000 crore and Rs 50,400 crore to pay to the DoT, but spread over a period of 10 years. The two have filed petitions in the Supreme Court that there were errors in DoT’s calculations, a plea that the apex court is yet to hear.