AGR dues: COAI seeks easier payment terms for telcos, cut in licence fee

Field overall body COAI has sent out a distress signal to the federal government searching for a lot easier conditions for payment of statutory dues by telcos, which include extension of financial loans at reduced costs to go over AGR liabilities, as also rapidly implementation of flooring charges, to rescue the troubled sect With the telecom sector plunging into a deep, unparalleled crisis, the affiliation has elevated an alarm about banks’ unwillingness to just take any hazard with regard to the sector, and asserted the “need to have to give a crystal clear information to banking institutions that federal government is there to guidance the sector”.

“Banking institutions are now unwilling to just take any hazard with respect to the telecom sector and are continuously inquiring telecom support vendors to decrease their exposures by refusing to situation new financial institution assures or even to renew financial institution assures,” COAI Director Standard, Rajan Mathews mentioned in a letter to Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash.

Cellular Operators’ Affiliation of India (COAI) has also mentioned that the need of fiscal financial institution assures for securing licence charge payments must be completed away with.

In case Telecom Division is of the see that fiscal financial institution assures are required, the exact same must be lessened to 1 quarter of licence charge, as per the sector overall body.

COAI also sought an fast reduce in licence charge levy to three per cent from 8 per cent and reduction in spectrum usage fees.

Citing India’s reduced normal earnings per consumer as opposed to marketplaces like China, Brazil and Russia, it further more mentioned info charges in India are a portion of people in marketplaces are US, China, Germany, France and other people.

“As a result, flooring pricing is critical to make sure the sector is sustainable and in a position to bear the deferred spectrum and altered gross earnings (AGR) dues, although continuing to spend in globe class networks,” COAI mentioned.

COAI’s letter, dated February 26, arrived even as Vodafone Notion has reportedly manufactured it crystal clear to the federal government that it will never be capable to pay back court docket mandated AGR dues in entirety, unless a bailout is prolonged promptly.

In all, 15 telecom entities owe the federal government Rs one.47 trillion in unpaid statutory dues — Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence charge and an additional Rs fifty five,054 crore in excellent spectrum usage fees.

Of the believed dues that involve fascination and penalty for late payments, Airtel and Vodafone Notion account for about 60 per cent.

These dues arose after the Supreme Court, in October past yr, upheld the government’s position on which include earnings from non-core businesses in calculating the once-a-year AGR of telecom corporations, a share of which is compensated as licence and spectrum charge to the exchequer.

The Supreme Court, earlier this thirty day period, turned down a plea by cell carriers these kinds of as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Notion for extension in the payment program and asked corporations to deposit their past dues for spectrum and licences.