Published On: Thu, Mar 5th, 2020

Apex court AGR order not applicable on PSUs: Govt

New Delhi: The government has detached PSUs that had some form of telecom licences, like GAIL India and Oil India, from a Supreme Court order that resulted into Rs 1.47 lakh crore dues sought from telecom firms, such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The DoT had sought Rs 1.83 lakh crore from GAIL and Rs 48,489 crore from OIL

“The Supreme Court has detached the public sector undertakings (PSUs) from the October 24, 2019 AGR judgment, and directed them to seek relief from an appropriate forum,” Minister of State for Communications Sanjay Dhotre said in a written reply.

The DoT had sought Rs 1.83 lakh crore from GAIL and Rs 48,489 crore from OIL by including their revenues from oil and gas business in calculating dues for leasing out surplus bandwidth capacity to third parties.

Power Grid Corp was slapped with Rs 21,953.65 crore liability and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Rs 15,019.97 crore demand. RailTel and Delhi Metro too faced demands.

“PSUs such as GAIL and Oil India, represented to the DoT that the AGR judgment is not applicable on them and therefore they don’t owe any money to it,” Dhotre said.

OIL holds a national long-distance (NLD) service licence with the objective of monitoring operation of its pipeline network. The surplus bandwidth capacity available with the company was leased out to the telecom operators/other users, on which the company regularly paid the applicable licence fee to the DoT.

In case of GAIL, which held a IP-II licence, the DoT assessed Rs 1,83,076 crore as outstanding after including interest and penalty computed on the entire revenue of the company.

PowerGrid, which holds NLD and internet service provider (ISP) licences, was asked to pay Rs 21,953.65 crore (including interest and penalty) for FY13 to FY18 .

Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals, which had a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) and a category A ISP, was asked to pay Rs 15,019.97 crore for FY06 to FY19.

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