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Thursday, October 28 2021

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Telco Breather: 4-year moratorium on dues, change in AGR definition

Telco Breather 4year moratorium on dues change in AGR definition

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the much-anticipated Telco Breather relief and reform measures for the stressed telecom sector.

Among several decisions, the Cabinet has approved a four-year moratorium on all dues by telecom operators, including the adjusted gross revenue (AGR), however, those operators availing the moratorium will have to pay interest of “MCLR+2 per cent”.

The Telco Breather has also approved the change in the AGR definition. Now non-telecom revenue will not be calculated under AGR, prospectively.

In another major move, the Cabinet has allowed 100 per cent FDI in telecom under the automatic route.

Further, spectrum user charges will be rationalized. There will be now an annual compounding of rates rather than a monthly one. Spectrum can now be surrendered and also shared by the telcos.

The government had also decided to have a calendar of spectrum auctions. This will give more certainty about this important requirement of telcos. Usually, the auction may be done in the last quarter of a financial year.

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