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Government initiates consultations on relief for the highly stressed telecom sector

The government has decided to initiate consultations on relief measures for the highly stressed telecom sector. This comes in the backdrop of Vodafone Idea and its lenders seeking government intervention to avert a financial crisis. While the Supreme Court, in its hearing on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) scheduled to start on July 19, is expected to give clarity on the quantum of industry dues, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to consider relief on certain levies that companies pay to the government.

Some of the measures being contemplated are relaxing the timeline of payment. This could be annual payment of licence fee, in place of the current quarterly instalments. Deferring spectrum-related instalments could also be possible.

On the payment of AGR dues, the DoT is likely to hold talks with the law ministry as well as the finance ministry. CT Bureau

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