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DoT orders Aircel to return spectrum due to unpaid arrears

June 11, 2019
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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has ordered Aircel to return its spectrum to the government since it has unpaid dues for the spectrum.

As per DoT, spectrum is not an asset of any company and is granted for permissive usage only. Further, DoT’s legal counsel stated that telecom operators are availing the benefits without paying its costs. This is leading to mounting sums of unrecovered dues. Besides, this is creating an impediment in Aircel’s bankruptcy process, which is likely to hurt lenders.

However, Aircel has opposed the move stating that its spectrum worth Rs 110-200 billion and licenses across circles except the Tamil Nadu circle are to expire in 2026.

To mitigate such issues, the government has formed a six-member panel to ascertain, among other things, how to ‘safeguard’ the value of public resources, such as spectrum, in cases where telecom operators have filed for insolvency.

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