The Union Cabinet is likely to consider relief for the telecom sector on Wednesday. This is a make or break moment for Vodafone, which is saddled with AGR dues of over Rs 50,000 crore.
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These reliefs have been a long time coming, there has been a big impetus that has been created within the industry that the government needs to deliver. The meeting is scheduled at 11 am today.
What to expect?
Sources have told CNBC-TV18 that they do not expect reliefs that will be designed or customised for individual companies. It will be focused on granting aid to the health of the entire sector.
Although nothing is confirmed yet, but sources say that one of the reliefs that may be on the cards is granting relief in terms of the terms of payment of spectrum dues. There has been a lot of talk of granting relief in terms of a possible moratorium for these spectrum dues or maybe the extension of time for payment of the spectrum dues. That is something that may be considered by the cabinet.
The other relief that may be considered and this has been in the works for a very long time now which has been the rationalisation of levies. The levies that were slapped on the telcos likes of the licence fees that could see some degree of rationalisation, some degree of lowering that may be in the works.
Another relief that may be on the cards, for discharging their spectrum dues, on many instances companies are required to furnish bank guarantees. There may be relaxations granted on these bank guarantee obligations, which in fact, could provide greater liquidity to the companies in question.
All the above measures are likely to be considered tomorrow when the cabinet takes it up and when they come out with the final briefing is when we're expecting more clarity on the way forward.
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