Telecom companies have been given a deadline of March 17 to clear AGR-related dues worth a combined Rs 1.47 lakh crore.
The government could use the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to help telecom companies, which are currently struggling to clear their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, according to a report by the Financial Express.
Around 50 percent of the funds - worth Rs 52,000 crore - are currently unutilised, sources told the publication.
But, to use the money for purposes other than rural telephony, an amendment is required to the USOF Act. The government can amend the law during the current Budget session, which ends on April 3.
Telecom companies have been given a deadline of March 17 to clear AGR dues worth a combined Rs 1.47 lakh crore.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.
Since private telecom companies have a strong presence in rural areas, they can be exempt from contributing to the USOF, and the balance can be used to lower their pending AGR payments, Financial Express reported.
Funds from the USFO are transferred to the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI) to be used for rural telephony projects approved by the government.Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices owe the bulk of the AGR-related dues to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).