GAIL (India), state-owned gas utility, has filed an application with the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday seeking clarification on its recent judgement on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).
The company has received provisional assessment orders amounting to Rs 1.83 lakh crore from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), GAIL said in a regulatory filing. State-owned oil and gas explorer, Oil India, which also received a demand notice for Rs 48,000 crore had approached the SC earlier this week seeking clarification on the issue.
The DoT raised demands and issued provisional assessment orders on the non-telecom public sector undertakings (PSUs) for leasing out surplus optical fibre network that was primarily used for their internal communications under the National Long Distance Service licences.
Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday told the media that notices and assessments being served to non-telecom firms was because of a communication gap.
“We are in discussion with the telecom ministry. We had given them our reply (on the demand raised). Possibly because of the communication gap, the government of India’s one department has raised such demand on PSUs under another government department,” said Pradhan as quoted by the Press Trust of India.
Pradhan added that simultaneous discussions were being held with the SC and DoT on this issue.
The demand notices by DoT follow the SC’s judgement on 24 October 2019 that broadened the definition of AGR for telecommunications firms to include non-core operations. Non-telecoms companies such as GAIL (India) and Oil India are of the opinion that the expanded definition of AGR is not applicable to non-telcos.
“Based on the legal opinion sought in this regard and facts of the case, the company is of the view that the amount assessed in provisional assessment orders are legally not tenable. In this regard, the company has also filed an application with the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 23 January, 2020 for seeking clarification of the judgement passed,” GAIL said in a regulatory filing.