Indian supreme court hearing $13bn tax claims today
India’s supreme court is meeting again today to resume a case involving two of the country’s three largest operators over claims of unpaid tax.
The Indian government claims that Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea owe more than a trillion rupees (US$13.3 billion) between them, based on a controversial calculation known as adjusted gross revenue (AGR). The supreme court adjourned its hearing of the case a month ago.
Vodafone Idea, a joint venture between an Indian business empire and the UK-based telecoms group, on Saturday paid 10 billion rupees ($133 million) into the court, taking its total payment to date to just over $1 billion.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) believes it owes at total of $6.1 billion.
Three weeks ago Vodafone Idea recorded India’s highest ever corporate loss.
The DoT also claims that Bharti Airtel owes it $4.7 billion, about three times as much as the telco calculates is due.
Last week the regulator recorded that Bharti Airtel lost 1,261,952 customers and Vodafone Idea 6,353,200, while successful start-up Reliance Jio added 4,687,639 customers in the same time. Jio now has the largest market share of the three operators.