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Jio, Airtel & Vodafone Idea Pay Deferred Spectrum Dues to Govt

Major Indian telcos were offered the chance to pay spectrum dues from previous years in phased manner.

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Troubled Vodafone Idea on Tuesday paid about Rs 3,043 crore to the telecom department towards deferred spectrum dues, sources said. Along with Vodafone, Bharti Airtel has made the payment of Rs 1,950 crore to the telecom department while Reliance Jio paid Rs 1,053 crore for their remaining sum of the spectrum dues.

Deferred spectrum dues are essentially instalment payments that are made by telcos for airwaves bought in past auctions. The move assumes significance as Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) has been under financial pressure and is confronted with AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) liabilities of over Rs 53,000 crore.

VIL has so far paid Rs 3,500 crore in two tranches towards its AGR liabilities.

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The sources in Department of Telecommunications (DoT) confirmed that the company has made the payment of around Rs 3,043 crore towards deferred spectrum liability.

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's moratorium on such spectrum dues.

In addition to this, Tata has made an additional payment of about Rs 2,000 crore to the telecom department on ad hoc basis towards their AGR liabilities, a source said.

The additional payment of over and above Rs 2,197 crore it has already submitted to the government, is aimed at covering any reconciliation differences, the source added. The government estimated Tata's dues at about Rs 14,000 crore.

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