The Supreme Court of India, in the hearing of a plea requesting for time to pay Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues, said that actions will be taken against anyone who did not comply with its judgement announced earlier.
Justice Arum Mishra said that not a paisa was paid by the telecommunication companies (telecos) and have broken the orders.
In total, 15 telecos have to pay over Rs. 1.47 lakh crore to the government for spectrum charges, penalties, license fees, and interests.
Even when the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, requested to defer the hearing, the top court denied doing so.
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The telecos had hoped that the apex court will give them some relaxation on the process of the payment with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The telecom companies were hoping to get permission to pay their dues over several years which will help them in managing finances better.
As the news surfaced, the share price of the companies fell. Voda Idea’s share price fell to Rs. 4.15, down by almost 8%. Reliance Communications share price fell by 4.11%, down to 70 paisa. Bharti Infratel’s share dropped to Rs. 234.65, down by 4.28%.
Many more companies were impacted by the scolding from the Supreme Court such as Optiemus Infracom (share price dropped by 1.1%), Aksh Optifiber (share price dropped by 3.88%), Sterlite Technologies (share price dropped by 0.39%), GTPL Hathway (down by 0.22%), GTL Infrastructure (share price dropped by 2.63%), and Bharti Airtel (share price dropped by 0.28%).
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Along with S&P BSE Telecom – which was down by 0.85% – share price of banks which are largely exposed to the telecom sector also saw a drop in their share prices. Nifty Bank was down by 1.07%. IDFC Banks was trading at Rs. 40.20, a drop of 1.71%, and IndusInd Bank’s share price dropped by 2.19%, trading at Rs. 1,203. The Supreme Court of India has asked the telecos to pay the due by the 17th March 2020.