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Telecom ministry to re-evaluate GAIL AGR dues

DoT has agreed on GAIL’s explanations and now top officials from both sides will meet next week to sort this out.

Non-telecom PSU GAIL, which needs to cough up around Rs 1.83 lakh crore as adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, has written to the telecom ministry explaining how it miscalculated the gas utility firm’s telecom-related dues. Top officials from both sides will now meet next week to rectify the calculations.

Sources said that GAIL in a series of letters sent to the department of telecommunications (DoT) explained how the ministry miscalculated the AGR dues, to which the latter has agreed in-principle. Now, GAIL chairman and managing director Ashutosh Karnatak will meet DoT secretary Anshu Prakash next week to sort out the issue.

“GAIL’s dues are around Rs 1.83 lakh crore as sent by DoT. They calculated AGR dues of not just optical fibre, but also of the other business, which GAIL pointed out. DoT has agreed on GAIL’s explanations and now top officials from both sides will meet next week to sort this out. Other PSUs are also in the process of communicating with the DoT on this,” a source in DoT said.

Following the October 24 Supreme Court order that overall revenues of a firm be taken into account to compute the AGR for paying licence fee and spectrum usage charges, telecom operators need to pay dues worth Rs 1.47 lakh crore.

These, as per the order, needs to be paid by January 24, 2020. While telecom operators have filed a review petition seeking waiver from paying interest, penalty, and interest on penalty, none of the PSUs have sought any relief from the court so far.

As reported by FE, firms like Gail and PowerGrid had earlier also stated that they owe no dues and hence there was no question of paying anything. Gail had earlier told FE, “Gail (India) obtained ISP (Internet service provider) licence in year 2002, for a period of 15 years, which expired in 2017. However, Gail has never done any business under ISP licence. Since no business is done under ISP licence, there is no amount payable.”
Similarly, PowerGrid, which has both a national long distance as well as an ISP licence, had told FE that it has paid whatever is due as per its licence condition and owes nothing more to the government.

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Source: Financial Express