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Chickens Have Come Home To Roost On Spectrum Policy

The Government is considering scrapping the 16-year installment policy for spectrum purchase. This follows a conclusion that past spectrum installments were unsecured and they ranked below secured dues.

Sources said the government was yet to receive Rs. 3 lakh crore on part installments from various telecom companies like Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel which were mounting.

The thinking in the government is how it can provide an installment window of unsecured credit on tap for telcos to buy spectrum.

Last March, the government had enhanced the period of installment payments from 10 years to 16. Vodafone Idea had earlier this month sought an extension of two years to pay their spectrum payments. The amount to be paid by Vodafone Idea is estimated to be around Rs. 10,000 crores this year.

In November, the Cellular Operators Association of India also approached the telecom department to seek an additional two-year moratorium on payment of installments and interest charged upon them.―Business Standard

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