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The telecom department is examining the legal applicability of January 23 deadline for payment of over Rs 2.4 lakh crore statutory dues in the case of non-telecom PSUs which were not originally party to AGR matter in the Supreme Court, according to sources.
Sources in the Department of Telecom (DoT) told PTI that while the PSUs too have been asked to make payments related to statutory liabilities (after the SC in October upheld government's position on calculation of non-core revenue for AGR dues), the larger question is whether the January 23 deadline is legally enforceable on state-owned companies that were not direct party to the dispute.
The current view that is emerging in the DoT appears to be that the court-imposed timeline may not apply to PSUs, but the matter is being legally examined for clarity. "Of course, the court has decided the issue of principle of what is AGR, so they (PSUs) have to pay but if they do not pay by January 23 it will not be contempt as it will be in case of the parties to the case. So PSUs have to pay and we have raised demands, but if they do not pay by January 23 it will not amount to contempt of court on their part because they were not party to the case, but they have to pay," a source added.
Another official also said that the issue of deadline for PSUs is being examined legally. Telecom companies Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, are legally bound to comply with the payment timelines stipulated by the apex court.
Following the Supreme Court order of October last year, the DoT estimated that the total liability of 15 telecom companies, including penalties and interest, would be Rs 1.47 lakh crore. .
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