October 24, 2019 / 8:13 AM / 24 days ago

Indian court upholds govt demand for nearly $13 billion of dues from mobile operators - TV

NEW DELHI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - India’s top court on Thursday upheld a demand by the telecom department that wireless carriers pay 920 billion Indian rupees ($12.97 billion) in overdue levies and interest, TV channels reported, sending their shares tumbling.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) and mobile carriers have been sparring over the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR): companies argue that AGR should comprise just revenue accrued from core services, while the DoT says AGR should include all revenue.

Telecom providers pay DoT nearly 3-5% of AGR as usage charges for spectrum or airwaves and 8% of AGR as licence fees.

Shares in Bharti Airtel were down 5.6%, while Vodafone Idea fell 19.5 percent at 0757 GMT after the Supreme Court’s decision.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea did not immediately respond to requests for comment. ($1 = 70.9430 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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