Home >Industry >Telecom >Bharti Airtel will opt for 4-year moratorium to build networks: Sunil Mittal
Listen to this article

New Delhi: Telecom major Bharti Airtel's chairman Sunil Mittal said Thursday that the telco will opt for moratorium, offered in telecom relief package, and redirect the cash flow to aggressively build networks.

Telecom reforms will spur growth, and have paved the way for all players to come together and work as a team to unleash India's telecom dream, Mittal said, reported news agency PTI

He hoped that regulator Trai will look into the industry's demands for a reasonable reserve price for 5G spectrum.

Tariffs need to go up, and more needs to be done on GST, licence fee, high levies "but that's a separate chapter", Mittal added.

Airtel could take a lead in tariff hikes in some packs, he pointed out.

Airtel will opt for the moratorium to redirect cash flow to build network, he said.

With regard to interest on payment moratorium, Mittal said that Airtel will weigh when the offer comes from the government on whether to go for equity conversion mechanism or pay cash.

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 reporters 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 non-telecom revenue of telecom companies.

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

The minister said that 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.

The measures, aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues, also include the scrapping of spectrum usage charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions. 

With PTI inputs

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!

Edit Profile
My ReadsRedeem a Gift CardLogout