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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Pending spectrum and adjusted gross revenue payments: Airtel opts for 4-yr moratorium to pay dues

Last week, Vodafone Idea (Vi) had told the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it would opt for the four-year moratorium for the deferment of the two dues, namely the spectrum as well as the AGR dues.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
October 26, 2021 1:26:12 am
The measures also include scrapping of spectrum usage charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions. (File)

Bharti Airtel on Monday became the second of the three private telcos to opt for the option to defer by four years the payment of spectrum as well as adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

In a notification to the exchanges, Airtel said it would take both the options with immediate effect. Last week, Vodafone Idea (Vi) had told the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it would opt for the four-year moratorium for the deferment of the two dues, namely the spectrum as well as the AGR dues.

The Centre recently approved a relief package for the sector that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment via the automatic route.

The measures also include scrapping of spectrum usage charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions. For the past dues, the Centre has allowed a moratorium or deferment of up to four years in annual payments. The government last week wrote to telecom operators asking them to convey by October 29 if they would be opting for the four-year moratorium.

It has also given 90 days’ time to the telcos to indicate if they want to opt for converting the interest amount pertaining to the moratorium period into equity. Along with this option, the audited financial statements of the immediately preceding financial year (FY21) would have to be submitted, as per the letter to telcos.

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