GUWAHATI: Reliance Jio Infocomm has urged telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to reject demand to provide relief to its old competitors Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea on payment of statutory fees based on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).
Jio on Thursday said that Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel should get no easing of terms on the Supreme Court order to deposit past dues within the stipulated three months and that they have enough funds to pay their liabilities.
On October 31, the Mukesh Ambani led telco in a letter addressed to telecom minister RS Prasad, said that, Prasad should not permit the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) to mix the investment-infusing financial package for the telecom industry with the legitimate license fee and spectrum usage charge obligations arising out of the past conduct of Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
In another letter, the company also slammed the COAI, saying its letter to the government, dated back on October 29, was “threatening and blackmailing” and “borders on contempt of the recent apex court AGR judgement” asking the operators to clear their dues within three months.
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court last week upheld the government’s definition of AGR to include revenue from the non-core activities of telcos.
As a result, Vodafone Idea and Airtel may need to cough up over Rs 80,000 crore in license fees and SUC, with penalties and interest.
COAI has said without relief such as a waiver on payment of penalties and interest, the two telecom industries could face an unprecedented crisis that could result in a monopoly in the sector already chained up with a debt of over Rs 7 lakh crore.