Airtel pushes back Q2 announcement to November 14 on SC-AGR ruling, seeks DoT relief
The company is approaching the DoT to seek clarity on the total amounts involved and request for their support. SC recently broadened the definition on AGR, which will add significantly to the cost of carriers such as Voda Idea & Airtel.
"Please be informed that the management of the Company recommended to the Board of Directors that the agenda item related to the approval of audited financial results for the second quarter (Q2) and half year ended September 30, 2019 which was to be a part of the Board meeting today be deferred till November 14, 2019 on account of the fact that more clarity is needed on the AGR matter arising out of recent judgement of Hon'ble Supreme Court," Airtel said in a notice to the stock exchanges Tuesday. The board accepted the proposal.
The company is approaching the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to seek clarity on the total amounts involved and request for their support to deal with this "adverse" outcome, the telco added.
The Supreme Court recently broadened the definition on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which will add significantly to the cost of carriers such as Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel.
The two companies--worst hit by the ruling--have less than three months to pay what could add up to more than Rs 80,000 crore in licence fees and spectrum usage charges (SUC). They will be forced to slash costs, especially on staffing and capital expenditure, said recruiters and industry executives.
Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, reportedly met telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and secretary Anshu Prakash on Monday to press for some relief. Government sources have told ET that after the SC ruling, demands for dues will be sent out. But the authorities are trying to see if the financial blow can be softened in any way but it's a tightrope walk as they want to avoid any future vigilance scrutiny.