Cabinet to take the final call on the AGR dues & no procurement of Chinese gears
Very soon the cabinet of ministers to hold the discussion on the rising burden of AGR dues & no procurement of Chinese gears.
It is the Union Cabinet and not the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that will take the final call on reserve prices for spectrum auctions, Financial Express reported. The report said that the telecom department maintained firmly that it will not reduce reserve prices.
The telecom department has also prepared a draft Cabinet note, detailing the reserve prices for auctions, including 4G spectrum, as per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) recommendations.
The report added that Cabinet may decide on the reduction of reserve prices for two reasons--the first reason being the exact amount of AGR payments to be paid over the next 10 years is now known. Secondly, following the ban on Chinese telecom gear makers, the equipment procurement costs may go up by 15-20%.
Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are split over the timing of 4G auction. While Reliance Jio is pushing hard for the bidding to take place at the earliest, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are in no hurry and would like the sale process to take place in 2021, ET had reported.
SP Kochhar, director-general for Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had said , some of the telcos feel that financial stability has to come first, another view is we need spectrum immediately.
The telecom department is preparing to sell airwaves in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands as part of the 4G auctions. The auction is expected to take place during January-March 2021 period.
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