NEW DELHI : Providing relief to the country’s stressed telecom companies, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a two-year moratorium on payment of pending spectrum auction instalments for the years 2020-21 and 2021-22.
The move to defer payments for 2020-21 and 2021-22 will give Rs. 42,000 crore relief to Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio.The move was approved by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The decision has been taken “in view of the stress faced by the telecom companies and recommendations of the committee of secretaries”, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
These deferred amounts will be equally spread over the remaining instalments to be paid by the telecom service providers — without any increase in the existing time period specified for making the payments — Sitharaman said.
“The interest as stipulated while auctioning of the spectrum concerned will not change so that the net present value (NPV) does not get altered.”The move to defer payments for 2020-21 and 2021-22 will give Rs 42,000 crore relief to Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio.
Telecom operators owe the government nearly Rs. 1.47 lakh crore in license fee (LF) and spectrum usage charges (SUC), the communications ministry told the Parliament on Wednesday. Of the total amount, license fee comes to Rs. 92,642 crore as of July this year, while SUC comes to Rs. 55,054 crore as of October end this year.
(With Agency Inputs ).