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CoS holds meeting to discuss telecom dues and AGR crisis

November 06, 2019
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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has briefed the committee of secretaries (CoS) on the financial state of the industry and the challenges it is facing.

The meeting held recently was focused on gathering information by the CoS for taking stock of financial stress in the debt-laden telecom sector.

The panel was formed to suggest relief plan in a time-bound manner to the carriers, facing Rs 1 trillion plus payout in additional statutory dues after the order by Supreme Court on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

CoS will be holding more meetings on the issue and has not finalised any revival plan as of now.

Meanwhile, the DoT has started work on issuing demand notices seeking Rs 1.4 trillion in past dues from telcos. According to industry sources, the DoT is working out the exact liability that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea Limited, and other telecom operators owe to the government following the October 24 Supreme Court judgment on the way statutory dues such as licence fee and spectrum usage charge has to be calculated.

The demand notices will be issued within the next two weeks after an assessment in light of the court order is done. Operators are expected to pay the amount within the Supreme Court mandated 90 days time period.

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