Reliance Comm liable to pay SSTL AGR dues, DoT identifies combined liability worth more than Rs 25k cr

New Delhi: Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) has told the Supreme Court that Anil Ambani’s insolvent telco Reliance Communications (RCom) is liable to pay its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues. It pointed out that RCom acquired SSTL’s entire telecom business back in October 2017. In an affidavit, SSTL said it has complied with the top court’s AGR judgement dated October 24, by paying Rs 72.9 lakh as per its own assessment of deficit AGR dues not covered under the merger scheme with RCom in 2017. The company has paid, as several letters to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) seeking clarification post the judgement did not elicit response. DoT has identified combined AGR liability of Rs 25,194.58 crore for RCom and SSTL as on March 6, of which Rs 222.1 crore belongs to the Indo-Russian JV which merged into the Anil Ambani-owned carrier in 2017. In February 2019, RCom filed for insolvency. Under the proceedings, the DoT has claimed nearly Rs 30,000 crore in dues from RCom, of which over Rs 21,000 crore has been verified by the resolution professional. “I say that there is no wilful default on the part of SSTL to comply with this court’s judgement to the extent it is applicable to SSTL,” the company said in an affidavit. ET has seen a copy of the affidavit. The Supreme Court, in its June 20 hearing of theAGR case, asked for bankruptcy related details of telcos such as Aircel, RCom, SSTL and Videocon within seven days, to ensure they were not misusing insolvency laws to evade AGR liability.