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MUMBAI : Vodafone Idea Ltd on Wednesday said it will defer payment of its spectrum dues by four years under the terms of a recent telecom bailout package. In an exchange filing, the telco said its board approved a proposal to opt for deferring instalments for October 2021 to September 2025, as required by the telecom department’s 14 October notification.

Vodafone Idea added that the board will consider other options offered in the DoT notification within the stipulated time frame.

The government had asked telcos to inform it by 29 October whether they wanted to opt for the four-year moratorium. It also gave 90 days to the operators to indicate if they want to opt for converting interest amount pertaining to the moratorium period into equity, PTI reported on 18 October. Along with this option, the audited financial statements of the immediately preceding fiscal (2020-21) may be submitted, reported PTI.

Last month, in a major relief to the telecom industry, the government announced a wide set of reform measures by granting a moratorium on unpaid dues, redefining adjusted gross revenue prospectively and cutting spectrum usage charges.

Rival Bharti Airtel Ltd’s chairman Sunil Mittal said last month that his company will opt for the payment moratorium offered. Following the reform package announced by the government, UK’s Vodafone Group Plc and Aditya Birla Group have drawn up fresh plans to invest in the telco, Mint reported earlier this month. The two promoters are likely to invest as much as $400 million in fresh equity in Vodafone Idea to strengthen the struggling telecom operator. Both promoters will invest around $200 million each to retain their stakes at the current level once Vodafone Idea raises funds from external investors, Mint reported.

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