Cabinet approves sweeping reforms in telecom sector

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Cabinet approves sweeping reforms in telecom sector

In big bang reforms, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a relief package for the telecom sector that includes a four-year moratorium on payment of statutory dues by telecom companies, as well as allowing 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route.

Briefing presspersons on the decisions taken by the Cabinet, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said nine structural reforms for the telecom sector were approved.

The definition of AGR, which had been a major reason for the stress in the sector, has been rationalised by excluding the non-telecom revenue of telecom companies.

AGR refers to revenues that are considered for payment of statutory dues.

The minister said 100 per cent FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in telecom via the automatic route was approved by the Cabinet.

Among the measures approved were a four-year moratorium on unpaid dues, AGR and spectrum dues, he said.

These measures are expected to ease the cash flow issues being faced by some players in the industry.

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