The DoT, which faced the ire of the Supreme Court for putting on hold recovery of dues from telecom companies, started issuing circle or zone-wise demand notices to firms, an order seen by news agency PTI said.
The order comes just hours after the apex court issued notice to the companies and their directors directing them to explain why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against them for not complying with its order to pay AGR of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the DoT.
The court had asked the operators to deposit the amount by March 17.
Telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices had approached the SC in January, seeking modification in the top court’s verdict in the AGR matter.
Soon after the apex court made its observations, the telecom department withdrawn its order that asked for no coercive action against telecom companies defaulting on statutory dues payment.
Voda Idea owes over Rs 50,000 crore to DoT, while Bharti Airtel has to pay over Rs 35,500 crore. Tata Teleservices, which sold its mobile services business to Airtel, has dues of nearly Rs 14,000 crore.
Reliance Jio is the only company which has paid its dues of Rs 60 crore. The amount was significantly lower than others as the company started its operations in 2016.
Shares of Vodafone Idea plunged 23.21 per cent to close at Rs 3.44 on the BSE on Friday. During the trade, it dropped 27.45 per cent to Rs 3.25.
(With agency inputs)