Telecom sector: IMG considering several options

The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on the telecom sector does not feel the necessity of tweaking policies but is considering several proposals to mitigate the pains of the industry. Since financials of the sector are showing signs of improvement, the government may like to wait and watch the results before changing polices.

An official, who was part of a recent IMG meeting, said, “We have demands of the industry on the table but what is required or not required is the question.”

As of now, the proposals that are being considered by the IMG include giving telecom companies more time to pay for the spectrum they bought, and if approved such relaxations would improve the cash flow of telecom companies.

The IMG is also said to be considering certain measures, including increasing period of deferred spectrum payments to 16 years – a proposal that could bring some relief to the industry.

Once the recommendations are prepared, it will be placed before the Telecom Commission and ultimately to the Cabinet for approval.

Other proposals being discussed include convergence between DoT and RBI guidelines on the issue of allowing spectrum as collateral. Another proposal being considered was shifting from PLR to MCLR for interest and penalty payments.

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