Bharti Airtel Photograph:( Reuters )
The company is expected to make more payments over time, after the Supreme Court's stern orders
As the government's clampdown on telecom companies intensifies, Bharti Airtel today claimed to have paid ₹10,000 crore to the telecom department as part of statutory dues.
The company is expected to make more payments over time, after the Supreme Court's stern orders.
"The...Amount of ₹10,000 crore has been paid on behalf of Bharti Airtel, Bharti Hexacom, and Telenor," the company said in a statement.
News agency PTI reported that Bharti Airtel (alongside the newly merged Telenor India) has paid ₹9,500 crore and Bharti Hexacom has paid another ₹ 500 crore.
The government recently released its figure, according to which, Airtel owes nearly ₹35, 586 crore in statutory dues, which includes licencing fee and the charges for using spectrum.
The Supreme Court's recent strong-worded directions to telecom companies to pay, the telecom department issued orders to Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to pay the past dues as soon as possible.
Following suit, the telecom department issued notices threatening action in terms of the licence terms unless the dues were paid.
In Uttar Pradesh (East), the office remained open even on a Saturday to ensure the payments were made.
On Friday, Airtel vowed to pay ₹10,000 crores to the Department of Telecommunications by February 20, with the leftover amount set to be paid before March 17.
But on Monday, the company said, "we are in the process of completing the self assessment exercise expeditiously and will duly make the balance payment upon completion of the same, before the next date of hearing in (the) SC".
Also read: Currently assessing the amount; will make payment in next few days: Vodafone
As per PTI, 15 entities owe ₹1.47 lakh crore, ₹92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and ₹55,054 crore in spectrum usage charges.
Vodafine Idea Ltd owes dues worth ₹53,000 crore: ₹24,729 crore in spectrum dues and ₹28,309 in licence fee.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)