DoT panel needs more data for deciding on AGR relief

DoT's Digital Communications Commission panel needs more data for deciding on AGR relief

Vodafone Idea, the worst-hit telecom company with Rs 53,000 crore AGR dues, was hoping some relief in the DCC meeting as it already said that unless the government relief provided, it will not able to survive.

Digital Communications Commission (DCC), the highest decision-making body of the Department of Telecom, on Friday did not take any decision on possible relief to the telecom sector as the panel decided to collect more data about the AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue).

“In today's meeting, no decision was taken on AGR as the DOT wanted more data to be collected on the issue. Soon the DCC will meet again and will take a decision,” said an official.

Besides, DOT Secretary, Secretaries in the Ministries of Finance (DEA), Commerce, and Electronics and IT, and CEO of NITI Aayog, are also a part of the DCC.

“The DOT is still studying the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Vodafone Idea proposals on AGR dues. After studying these proposals, the DOT will come to some decision and the same will be placed before the next meeting of the DCC,” said the officials.

Vodafone Idea, the worst-hit telecom company with Rs 53,000 crore AGR dues, was hoping some relief in the DCC meeting as it already said that unless the government relief provided, it will not able to survive.

There are some bailout proposals before the DOT including allowing the companies to make staggered payments, setting up a separate fund to lend money to firms to clear their AGR dues.

One proposal is an upfront payment of the entire principal amount on licence fee and spectrum usage charges and 50% of the interest, penalty and interest on the penalty. The rest could be paid over four years with interest.

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