The Ministry of Communications has set up an inter-ministerial group (IMG) to look in ailing financials of the telecom sector, which also will look into the policy reforms and strategic interventions for the sector.

The IMG will submit its recommendations in three months, according to Telecom Ministry sources.

The IMG includes various officials of the Department of Telecommunications, Department of Financial Services, Department of Economic Affairs and Department of Revenue.

The terms of the IMG are to examine issues affecting viability and repayment capacity in telecom sector and furnish recommendations for resolution of stresses assets at the earliest.

It will also look into the policy reforms and strategic interventions for the sector, and invite nominees from telecom sector and financial institutions.

The industry – including operators and their bodies – had stated the sector was bleeding with a debt at about Rs 8,00,000 crore, annual interest payment of telcos at about Rs 78,000 crore and financials such as EBITDA of telcos down to around Rs 50,000 crore.

The operators were also seeking deferred payment of spectrum charges to 18 years from the present eight years. – The Hindu Business Line




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