Airtel and Vodafone Idea get 10 years to repay AGR dues – here’s a timeline of the case

Airtel and Vodafone Idea get 10 years to repay AGR dues – here’s a timeline of the case
Airtel founder Sunil Mittal and Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam BirlaBusiness Insider India
  • The Supreme Court has delivered its verdict in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case, directing telcos to pay their dues totaling to ₹1.56 lakh crore over 10 years.
  • Vodafone Idea and Airtel are the most impacted, with their cumulative dues reaching ₹1.02 lakh crore.
  • The AGR dispute first emerged in 2003, with several telcos questioning the validity of the AGR definition that was agreed to in 1999.
The adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case has finally concluded with the Supreme Court directing telecom companies to pay their dues over a period of 10 years. In its landmark ruling in October 2019, the Supreme Court directed Vodafone Idea, Airtel and other telecom companies to pay up their respective AGR dues, amounting to over ₹1.56 lakh crore.

Amongst these, Vodafone Idea leads the charts with a total demand of ₹58,254 crore, while Airtel comes in second at ₹43,980 crore.

CompanyTotal AGR demandAGR dues paidBalance AGR dues
Vodafone Idea₹58,254 crore₹7,854 crore₹50,339 crore
Airtel₹43,980 crore₹18,004 crore₹25,976 crore
Tata Telecom₹16,798 crore₹4,179 crore₹12,601 crore
RCom₹25,000 croreNot availableNot available
Aircel₹12,389 croreNot availableNot available

Source: AGR case in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is deliberating on the ability of bankrupt telcos like RCom and Aircel to pay the AGR dues. It has stuck to its stance of payment period of 10 years – while the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) sought a 20-year repayment timeline, telcos were fine with a 15-year schedule.


What is AGR?

In 1999, the government and telecom operators shifted to a revenue-sharing fee model that requires them to share a part of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) with the government as annual license fee and spectrum usage charges. AGR is defined in the license agreements entered between the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the telecom operators.

The AGR case timeline

The AGR dispute might have emerged in 2003, but its roots can be traced back to the National Telecom Policy that was announced in 1994. Here’s the detailed timeline of how the AGR case came to be.

Airtel and Vodafone Idea get 10 years to repay AGR dues – here’s a timeline of the case
AGR case timelineBusiness Insider India


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Here's what will happen if Airtel and Vodafone Idea get a 10-year timeline to repay AGR dues