Cabinet approves 4-year moratorium on telcos dues

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a big-bang relief package for the stressed telecom 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 through the automatic route.
Cabinet approves 4-year moratorium on telcos dues
Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. File photo

New Delhi

The measures, aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues, also include the scrapping of Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions.
Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the telecom reforms package is adequate for the survival of existing players. Among procedural reforms, shifting from prepaid to post-paid connections and vice-versa will not require fresh KYC.
The government excluded non-telecom revenues from the definition of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) prospectively. Telecom companies have to pay a pre-fixed percentage of AGR to the government as statutory levies but this will apply prospectively.

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