₹42,000 crore relief for telcos on spectrum fee payment

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 21, 2019

The move was approved by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In a major relief for telecom operators, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved two years' moratorium on spectrum payment dues.

The Cabinet decision means deferral of spectrum dues payment for the next two financial years — 2021 and 2022 — and extension of the number of payment instalments to 18 from 16 currently, the official added.

The two-year payment holiday will give a ₹42,000-crore relief to Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio.

While there will be a benefit of ₹11,746 crore to Airtel, it will be ₹23,920 crore for Voda Idea and ₹6,670 crore for Jio, a senior government official said.

“We will not let monopoly prevail in the sector. This is to relieve the distress in the telecom sector,” the official said.

The telcos have been seeking some relief from the government, especially after the Supreme Court order on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) last month.

This comes as a major step by the government to ease the burden of the sector that has a debt of over ₹7-lakh crore.

Published on November 20, 2019

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