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Only 14 Days to SC Deadline, Telecom Sector on Verge Of Collapse

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, news about the imminent collapse of the telecom sector has gotten buried.

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Video editor: Mohd Ibrahim

Amid the coronavirus crisis, news about the collapse of telecom sector has gotten buried. The government has only 14 days to present its argument in the Supreme Court on revenue collection from telecom companies case. Vodafone has already confirmed that it won't be able to survive if it has to pay such a huge amount, which will lead to a breakdown in communication and deeper crisis in the already bleeding economy.

The situation in the telecom sector is like that of a patient who has reached the fourth stage of a major illness. The telecom sector has only two weeks in which it’ll be known whether it will survive or not. This crisis has also emerged as a major threat to the economy in the time of coronavirus.

For the last 17 years, the government said that they need more revenue from the telecom sector on the basis of adjusted gross revenue. A bench of Justice Arun Sharma in the Supreme Court gave a decision in favour of the government and said that about one and a half million rupees will have to be paid by the telecom sector at the earliest.

When this matter escalated, the telecom companies said that they could not pay the amount, and after that the government discussed and decided that these telecom companies should be asked for self-assessment.

Telecom companies have said that they can pay one-third of the total outstanding amount, but for this they need 20 years time.

When the government and companies reached the Supreme Court on this matter, Justice Arun Mishra wasn’t very happy.

“It is not possible to allow re-assessment and self assessment in any way. What do companies think of themselves? The government is also taking wrong steps and we will not let this happen.”
Supreme Court on Telecom AGR
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Justice Mishra also told the media that the media is involved in this lobbying. It thus became clear that the Supreme Court will not allow self-assessment.

Now the only ray of hope left is that the SC has said that it is ready to give time to companies.

The problem with this is that if the payment schedule is less than 15 years, Vodafone will not be able to survive. Its second major impact will be on the banking sector and this sector is already choked.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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