HomeTelecomBharti Airtel follows Vi in accepting deferral of additional AGR charges

Bharti Airtel follows Vi in accepting deferral of additional AGR charges

Bharti Airtel, the country’s second-largest telecom operator, has decided to defer additional Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) charges until fiscal year 2018-19. It’s worth noting that Vodafone Idea (Vi) has done the same. Previously, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) offered telecom providers an option to defer payment of AGR-related fees until FY2016-17, as determined by the Supreme Court (SC). To offer further relief to operators, the DoT wrote to telecoms on June 15 whether they would like to defer further AGR-related charges for a period of four years until FY2018-19.

Vodafone Idea agreed to this a few days ago. With the telcos only having 15 days to communicate their decision, on June 30, 2022, Airtel agreed to defer the additional charges for four years as well.

Airtel announced the same via a listing on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). However, Telekom did not name the amount of the deferred fees. Regardless, it puts Airtel in a better position for its upcoming 5G investments and 4G rollout.

In addition to deferring fees, DoT offered Airtel an option to convert its accrued interest fees into equity for the government. Airtel decided against it, which makes a lot of sense.

Bharti Airtel has the right to prepay the deferred charges

In announcing its decision to exchanges, Airtel said it has the right to prepay the deferred fees at any time. The deferred charges are for four years and are effective from FY2021-22 through FY2024-25.

Airtel has already managed to generate ample free cash flow, and the company has only opted for a deferral to ensure it has more cash to fuel investment and growth. Both Airtel and Vi are now in a much better position due to the DoT’s decision to help them with their liquidity levels. As expected, Jio has not opted for such a postponement.

( Image : Twitter )

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