The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), set up to resolve the financial woes of the telecom sector, will meet on August 14 and 16 to finalize its policy suggestions.

A draft report of the final suggestions will be circulated on Wednesday, sources close to the development said.

IMG, which was set up on May 16 to work on the stress in balance sheet in telecom sector, was studying last three years’ (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17) balance sheet of telecom companies. It had also earlier written to all telcos, individually, seeking their income (opex, net profit and average revenue per user) of last three years.

On August 3, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha had told the Lok Sabha during question hour that IMG will submit its report in 20 days, based on which, the government can take corrective measures.

The sector was expecting a relief on spectrum payments (16 years to make payments instead of present eight years), lower interest rate (10.5 per cent at present) on outstanding spectrum payments and relief on annual license payout among others.

Operators had also asked for removal of 5 per cent payout towards the Universal Service Obligation Fund, even though many in the industry believe this could be considered.- The Hindu Business Line


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