Telecom operators owe government a huge amount of Rs 17,980.77 crore in licence fee and spectrum charges, but the outstandings are under litigations, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
"Yes, the recovery of huge amount is still under litigation," Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He said Rs 2,073.02 crore under licence fee and Rs 15,907.75 crore under spectrum charges, inclusive of interest, are under litigations.
Among various operators, Bharti Airtel has a total outstanding of Rs 5,540.68 crore, followed by Vodafone, which owes a total of Rs 3,846.29 crore, Reliance Communiations Rs 2,422.67 crore, Idea Rs 2,029.96 crore, Aircel Rs 1,351.51 crore and Tata Teleservices Rs 1,402.02 crore.
Cases are pending before the TDSAT and High Courts of Kerala, Gauwhati and Madras.
"Interim orders have been issued that pending disposal of the litigations no coercive steps shall be taken against the licencees who will continue to pay licence fee as they were paying since the commencement of the litigation," Deora said.
He added the cases are "vigorously being defended through legal officers of various levels".