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SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar's advice to telcos: Improve cash flow

Updated : November 22, 2019 06:19 AM IST

Country's largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), on Thursday said telecom operators must review their revenue model to improve their cash flow after the government approved a two-year moratorium to telcos on pending spectrum payment.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Rajnish Kumar, chairman, said that telecom is one of the most important sectors for the economy and the government wants the industry to remain healthy.

Talking on DHFL bankruptcy proceedings, Kumar said the private lender will be referred to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and it will follow the same process notified by the government.

With regards to timeline, he said, "There is a 330-days timeline that is also extended timeline. Otherwise, normally it should happen in 180-days that is the intent of the (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) process. So, let us hope that those timelines are adhered to and let us hope for the best."

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecom operators have to pay Rs 1.4 lakh crore in outstanding statutory dues following a Supreme Court order on October 24 that sent shock waves through an industry already grappling with billions of dollars in debt and an intense tariff war to retain customers.

The top court last month upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fees to the exchequer.
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