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IMG to meet on Friday to finalise its report

IMG has seven members, four officials from DoT and three from the finance ministry

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

IMG to meet on Friday to finalise its report

The (IMG), formed to address the financial stress in the telecom sector, will meet on Friday to discuss and finalise its report.
Interestingly, (DoT) had on Tuesday sent out letters to stakeholders, including telecom operators, stating the will meet on August 14 (Monday) and August 16 (Wednesday) to discuss the draft report. Another letter was sent on August 9 (Wednesday) that the meeting would take place on August 11 (Friday). Asked why there was a change in schedule, a official said some of the members were not available.
Regarding the circulation of draft report among telecom operators, the official said the report would be shared among members only. The has seven members, four officials from and three from the finance ministry. The report is not likely to be shared with telecom companies.
According to sources, extending the deferred payment schedule to 16 years, cut in interest rates and converting the PLR (prime lending rate) into the (marginal cost of funds-based lending rate) are among the measures being considered by the
The telecom operators' plea for a reduction in (SUCs) and goods and services tax (GST), however, has not found favour with the panel.
The telecom industry has sought a reduction in licence fee, which currently stands at eight per cent (including five per cent levy for a fund for rural telephony). It is to be seen what breather is provided to telcos on this front.
On the issue of interconnect usage charges (IUCs), is of the view that the decision taken by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) would be final.
The stress in the telecom sector intensified in recent months after Reliance Jio launched its services last September, offering deep discounts and free services.
The outstanding debt in the industry is pegged at Rs 4.5 lakh crore, mainly on account of payments for spectrum and other levies.

First Published: Thu, August 10 2017. 00:35 IST