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Vodafone-Idea, Tata Teleservices opt for four-year deferment of AGR dues

Telecom operators Vodafone-Idea and Tata Teleservices opted to avail the option for deferment of adjusted gross revenue for a period of four years, the companies stated in separate regulatory filings to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

They added the other option provided the Department of Telecom will be considered within the stipulated timeframe. The other option provided by the Department of Telecommunications asked the telcos to pay the interest amount arising out of the deferment by way of equity.

“We wish to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Company has approved the exercise of the option of deferment of the Company’s AGR related dues by a period of four years with immediate effect, in accordance with the notification dated 14 October 2021 issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to the Company,” Vodafone-Idea stated in the filing.

On September 15, the Union Cabinet had approved a string of reforms to bail out the struggling telecom sector. The reforms announced included a four-year moratorium on payment of statutory dues by telecom companies (telcos) and permitting 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecom sector with safeguards. Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnav had said that the Cabinet is rationalising aggregated gross revenue (AGR) definition, excluding non-telecom revenue of telcos from payment of statutory levies. AGR refers to revenues that are considered for payment of statutory dues.

As part of the relief package, the telcos were also given the option of converting the interest due on their spectrum amounting to the four-year moratorium, to government equity. The package came as a relief to the struggling telecom sector that is going through a financial crunch. Outlook

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