AGR Dues: Telecom Department To Set Separate Deadline For Non-Telcos

The Department of Telecom will issue a separate deadline for AGR dues payment to the non-telecom companies (mostly PSUs) since the Supreme Court-mandated timeline does not apply to them, official sources said.

“The January 23 deadline is not applicable to them (the non-telecom companies or PSUs). There will be a separate date of compliance for non-telecom companies, which we will intimate them.

“They don’t come under January 23 deadline as it is a Supreme Court-fixed timeline for telecom companies that had approached the court (Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices).

“Non-telcos such as GNFC, Gail and PGCIL have been paying their dues and are raising a few queries on the amount we have sent them. Those doubts and queries are also being clarified. They are in touch with us,” the source associated with the development said.

As per the SC order of October 24, incumbent telecom companies — Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices — will have to pay the AGR dues by January 23 irrespective of their modification plea, which is currently listed for hearing in the apex court next week.

While telecom companies have sought modifications in the October 24 order of the Supreme Court and moved the top court, none of the non-telecom companies (mostly PSUs) have moved the apex court.

Oil India, however, has said it may move the telecom tribunal.

The demand raised from non-telcos is greater, in some cases, than that from telcos.

The total amount of dues to be recovered from non-telco PSUs could be around Rs 3 lakh crore whereas the dues from telcos add up to Rs 1.47 lakh crore.

These PSUs have also been asked to pay their licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues, not only on telecom-related revenues but on total revenues as per the October 24 Supreme Court order.

Notices have also been issued to SAIL, PGCIL, RailTel and PowerGrid also.

In case of PGCIL, telecom services contribute about 2 per cent to the company’s revenue, while power transmission accounts for nearly 95 per cent. The company made Rs 742 crore in 2018-19 from its telecom business, which puts the licence fee at Rs 59 crore, according to the company communication to DoT.

The department has sought Rs 21,000 crore liability payment from PGCIL.

The DoT has demanded Rs 1.72 lakh crore AGR dues from state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd following the Supreme Court’s AGR ruling on IP-1 and IP-2 licences, as well as Internet Service Provider (ISP) licence.

It …read more

Source:: Daily Times


‘You could literally go around the Earth’ before symptoms start: Screening for new coronavirus | CBC News

Medical screening at airports, border crossings and health-care institutions takes on new urgency when a viral threat looms.

Tuesday’s announcement of the first infection in the U.S. – a man who returned to the Seattle area last week after travelling to the outbreak’s epicentre in Wuhan, central China – adds to the roughly 440 people infected in China as well as Thailand, Japan and Korea.

U.S. health officials will expand airport screening from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles to Chicago and Atlanta.

The Public Health Agency of Canada acts as the lead agency for the new coronavirus through the Quarantine Act.

As part of the federal government’s response, Canada Border Services Agency officials will ask travellers: “Have you been in Wuhan, China in the past 14 days?” There are no direct flights from Wuhan to Canada.

Additional signs at airports in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver will remind passengers to speak to border officials if they have flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough.

“We are in the process of putting up signs on the electronic screens warning travellers that if they’ve been to an affected area to essentially determine if they’ve been in contact with live animals, sick people,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said Tuesday on CBC’s Power & Politics.

“We are certainly preparing for the potential of a first case in Canada,” says @CPHO_Canada Dr. Tam, as the deadly coronovirus outbreak in China continues to spread. She says it’s “not surprising” the U.S. has detected a case, given the heightened alerts to local health systems.


If so, CBSA agents can alert a federal quarantine officer to do an assessment, which could include a temperature check.

“The current assessment of the risk to Canada is low,” Tam said.

Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of medical microbiology at Public Health Ontario, said three potential cases in the province were investigated and ruled out.

“We were aware of the link,” Allen said. “Co-ordinated calls were arranged by the ministry and we discussed the cases and the three individuals more subsequently tested. So they all had, you know, some degree of a link to Wuhan with respiratory symptoms. We did in fact test in an abundance of caution.”

Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory as well as provincial government labs in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta have a battery of tests to …read more

Source:: Daily Times


i24NEWS – Asian markets rebound but killer virus fuels new SARS fears

Global equities took a severe hit on fears the new outbreak, which has killed nine and sickened hundreds

Asian markets bounced back Wednesday on bargain-buying following the previous day’s sharp losses but investors remained on edge after a deadly virus from China was confirmed to have spread to the United States.

Global equities took a severe hit on fears the new outbreak, which has killed nine and sickened hundreds, could cause as much economic damage as the SARS epidemic that killed hundreds of people in 2003.

Shanghai dived more than one percent in early trade, extending the previous day’s 1.4 percent drop, with authorities battling to contain the coronavirus strain as China prepares for the Lunar New Year holidays, when millions of people travel across the country.

Officials warned Wednesday the strain could mutate and spread.

Tourism-linked firms — which had been hit by concerns about the impact on the global economy just as it shows signs of a tentative recovery from a long-running slowdown — also enjoyed a reverse.

The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting later Wednesday to determine whether to declare a global public health emergency over the disease, which has also been detected in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan

…read more

Source:: Daily Times