Major telecom firm Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio paid more than Rs 6,000 crore in spectrum installments to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Vodafone Idea paid Rs 3,042 crore, while Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel paid Rs 1,053 crore and Rs 1,950 crore respectively to the telecom department, according to news agency ANI. The payments were towards the purchase of airwaves in the spectrum auctions of 2014.
The payment of spectrum dues comes as a deadline ended on Tuesday. Any default on payment of spectrum dues entitles the Department of Telecommunications to encash bank guarantees.
Vodafone Idea’s payment comes even as the telecom company faces balance-adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of Rs 53,500 crore.
Vodafone Idea has made payments of Rs 3,500 crore in total.
Its rivals Bharti Airtel has paid Rs 18,000 crore in AGR-related dues to the department, out of its total liability of Rs 35,500 crore.
Intense competition between the telecom companies to provide cheaper services to the customers has led to piles of debt for the competitors and forced them to consider consolidation of their operations or shutting down.
Telecom operator, Vodafone, which has more than 30 crore consumers in India, has been unable to perform in the market predatory pricing and the recent AGR judgment.
Telecom companies have until March 17 to pay AGR-related dues worth Rs 1.47 lakh crore.