DoT rejects VIL’s objections to licence fee demand of Rs 3,273 crore

The government said the telco had not paid the entire licence fee till 2016. Vi said it had in the past written to DoT to correct the errors in demands up to FY 2016-17.
Image used for representational purposes (Photo | Google Play)
Image used for representational purposes (Photo | Google Play)

NEW DELHI: Telecom service provider Vodafone Idea on Friday said the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has disposed of its representation and objections related to a licence fee demand of Rs 3,273 crore. The loss-making company, in an exchange filing, said it has in the past written to DoT to correct the errors in demands up to FY 2016-17, which DoT has not acted upon so far.

“…the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) vide its communication dated October 4, 2023, has disposed of the company’s representation and objections in respect of license fee demand of Rs 1,749 crore and Rs 1,524 crore, respectively (including Interest till 31 March 2023) for the financial year(s) 2015-16 and 2016-17,” said the company.

The issue is related to the non-payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) by the telco to the government. The government said the telco had not paid the entire licence fee till 2016. Vi said it had in the past written to DoT to correct the errors in demands up to FY 2016-17, which DoT has not acted upon so far.

“ If however, it is permissible for DoT to modify the demands for the period covered by the Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, then in that event there are various errors which need to be corrected and which would reduce the demand crystallised by Supreme Court.

A review petition was filed by the company seeking directions from the Supreme Court to carry out correction of these errors and the same continues to be pending,” said the company in an exchange filing. Meanwhile, the company is facing problems from all fronts. Indus Tower, a telecom infrastructure provider said on Thursday it may restrict its services for Vodafone Idea as the latter has defaulted on its payments.

The tower company, in a letter dated 3 October 2023 to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), said in case of Vi continues to breach its payment obligations, Indus will not only have recourse to all lawful remedies but also be entitled to mitigate its losses by restricting its services for Vodafone Idea. 

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