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Telecom department can't allow extension of moratorium on spectrum dues: Report

Nearly Rs 15,900cr of non-adjusted gross revenue (AGR) spectrum dues become payable from April 2022.

August 09, 2021 / 02:02 PM IST
Representataive Image

Representataive Image

Department of Telecom (DoT) cannot extend the moratorium unilaterally on spectrum dues. It can be extended with the nod from the Ministry of Finance would be required to do so, CNBC TV-18 reported citing government sources.

Nearly Rs 15,900cr of non-adjusted gross revenue (AGR) spectrum dues become payable from April 2022. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has shared concerns on the fiscal implication of the moratorium on spectrum dues. Previously, the government had allowed a moratorium on spectrum dues for FY2021 and FY2022.

Last month, the Aditya Birla Group chairman had written a letter to the Government of India in which he offered to hand over his stake in Vodafone-Idea (Vi) to any public sector entity considering the "looming crisis" before the telecom operator.

Birla had sought clarity on AGR, an adequate moratorium on spectrum dues and floor pricing adding that without immediate and active government support Vi’s operations will be at an "irretrievable point of collapse".

"Happy to work with the government to urgently explore all possible solutions, without consideration of our private interest," he had said in the letter.

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However, the decision on floor pricing is the remit of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and not of DOT, the report added.

The Supreme Court (SC) of India, on July 23, rejected Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Tata Teleservices' application seeking re-computation of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR)–related dues.

In 2020, the apex court gave 10 years' time to telecom service providers struggling to pay Rs 93,520 crore of AGR-related dues to clear their outstanding amount to the government.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 9, 2021 02:02 pm

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