Three private telcos — Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio — on Tuesday paid Rs 6,046 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards deferred spectrum dues. Vodafone Idea paid about Rs 3,043 crore, Bharti Airtel has made the payment of Rs 1,950 crore to the telecom department towards its deferred spectrum dues, while Reliance Jio paid Rs 1,053 crore.
Vodafone Idea’s payment in particular assumes significance as the company has been under tremendous financial pressure and is confronted with AGR (adjusted gross revenue) liabilities of over Rs 53,000 crore.
This is the last lot of payments that telcos will make towards deferred spectrum liabilities to the DoT, as the Union Cabinet had late last year approved a two-year moratorium on spectrum dues. On November 20, 2019, the Union Cabinet approved a moratorium of two years for spectrum payments. The move to defer payments for 2020-21 and 2021-22 will give Rs 42,000-crore relief to Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Jio.