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No proposal under consideration to waive off penalties or extend timelines for telcos, says Ministry of Communications

November 20, 2019
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The Ministry of Communications has informed the parliament that as of date the government does not has any proposal under consideration regarding the waiving off of penalties and interest on outstanding licence fee payments based on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) or for extending the timelines for telcos to pay up their statutory dues.

The parliament was also informed that the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) under the chairmanship of the cabinet secretary had held meetings to discuss the issues relating to the stress in the telecom sector.

As of August 2017, the total debt of the telecom industry stood at Rs 7.87 trillion. This includes the dues owed by service providers and tower companies.

According to the ministry, the provisional outstanding dues of the 16 telecom service providers on account of license fee are around Rs 926.42 billion. However, since the amount is provisional it is subject to revision in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on AGR matter that was announced on October 24, 2019.

As per the information provided by the ministry, the licence fee dues of Vodafone Group (along with Idea Cellular) stood at Rs 283.09 billion, while that of Bharti Airtel Group of companies stood at Rs 216.82 billion. Meanwhile, licence fee dues of Telenor and Tata Group of companies stood at Rs 19.5 billion and Rs 99.87 billion, respectively.

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