Telecom tribunal asks DoT to adjust excess Rs 755 crore collected from Vi

In a move that may bring relief to Vodafone Idea (Vi), a telecom tribunal has told the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to adjust Rs 755.52 crore collected from the ailing telco against its statutory dues, The Economic Times (ET) reported on Tuesday. The sum was collected from Vi as a part of its merger-related liabilities. It has been asked to return within 15 days from December 15.


In 2018, the DoT had asked Vi to pay Rs 3,926.34 crore for its spectrum liabilities linked to the merger between Vodafone and Idea Cellular. Vi decided to approach the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal against the order. However, the dues were later revised down to Rs 3,170.82 crore.


Later, Vi deposited the full amount, Rs 3,926.34 crore, “under protest” of the government order. Now, the tribunal has asked the DoT to adjust the excess Rs 755.52 crore with the telco’s other dues.


Vi has been struggling to clear its statutory dues to the DoT. It has also seen users shifting to other telcos like Airtel and Jio. Currently, Centre holds a 33.1 per cent stake in the company. It had acquired the stake by converting the pending dues into equity.


In a written reply in Lok Sabha, the Centre has recently said it is not considering any proposal to take over Vi.


Last month, the Bombay High Court also issued an order in Vi’s favour. It asked the Income Tax department to refund Rs 1,128 crore to Vi paid by the telecom operator in taxes for the assessment year 2016-2017.


Vi had claimed that the I-T department failed to refund the amount paid by it for the assessment year 2016-2017, which, it said, was in excess of the legitimate tax due on its income.

First Published: Dec 19 2023 | 9:55 AM IST

Telecom tribunal orders the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to adjust Rs 755.52 crore collected from Vodafone Idea (Vi) against its statutory dues. The amount was collected from Vi as part of its merger-related liabilities and the telco has been asked to return it within 15 days. Vi had previously been asked to pay Rs 3,926.34 crore for its spectrum liabilities linked to the merger between Vodafone and Idea Cellular, but the dues were later revised down to Rs 3,170.82 crore. Vi had deposited the full amount “under protest” and now the tribunal has asked the DoT to adjust the excess amount with the telco’s other dues. Vi has been struggling to clear its statutory dues and has seen users shifting to other telecom companies. The Centre holds a 33.1% stake in Vi and has recently stated that it is not considering any proposal to take over the company. In a separate ruling, the Bombay High Court ordered the Income Tax department to refund Rs 1,128 crore to Vi that was paid in taxes for the assessment year 2016-2017. Vi claimed that the I-T department failed to refund the excess amount paid.,

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