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Outstanding dues: Jio pays about Rs 10,700 cr to DoT

Source: PTI
October 28, 2021 23:47 IST
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Reliance Jio has paid about Rs 10,700 crore to the telecom department towards outstanding amount for spectrum acquired in 2016 auction, sources said.

The payment was made by Jio last week, sources added.

With this, the company has made full payment with regard to spectrum bought in 2016 auction, and the outstandings now pertain to 2014, 2015 and 2021 auction.

 

Sources said that last week Jio made payment of about Rs 10,700 crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT), clearing its remaining dues for spectrum bought in 2016 auction.

An e-mail sent to Reliance Jio on the matter did not elicit a response.

The government recently approved a blockbuster relief package for the 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.

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.

The government has offered telcos the option to defer payment of the spectrum auction instalments due up to four years, with immediate effect, excluding the installments due for spectrum auction 2021.

This option is applicable from FY 2022-23 to FY 2025-26.

These deferred amounts will be spread equally over the remaining instalments to be paid, without any increase in the existing time period specified for making the instalment payments.

Interest as stipulated in the relevant year of auction of spectrum will, however, be charged so that the Net Present Value (NPV) of the payable amount is protected.

Also, the government has given an option to the telcos to pay the interest amount arising due to the said deferment of payment, by way of equity.

The government will also have an option to convert the due amount pertaining to the deferred payment into equity at the end of the moratorium/deferment period.

The DoT recently wrote to telcos including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio asking them to convey by October 29 (Friday) if they would be opting for four-year dues moratorium.

It has also given 90 days time to the operators to indicate if they want to opt for converting the interest amount pertaining to the moratorium period, into equity.

So far, telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have said they will opt for the four-year moratorium on payment of dues.

The moratorium is expected to free up cash flow to the tune of thousands of crores for telcos.

Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters

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