Aiming to lend a helping hand to financially stressed telecom companies, the Centre is learnt to be seriously mulling offering a moratorium to them on the mandatory spectrum payments.
According to media reports, the Government is concerned about the financial condition of some telecom companies and offering a moratorium to them is being considered as one of the options.
Telecom companies owe to the Centre crores of rupees in terms of pending spectrum payment.
The move has come at a time when one of the key telecom players of the country, Vodafone Idea has indicated to the Centre that in case the company collapses, it would impact its 27 crore subscribers. The company is under severe financial stress.
Quoting sources, media reports said that if the Government decides to come out with a bailout package, then it would be meant for all the players like Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, apart from Vodafone Idea.
Kumarmangalam Birla, one of the key shareholders in Vodafone Idea, has already appealed to the Government for help so that the company continues to function.
The reports further said that if the moratorium comes through, then it will be an extension to the already-running moratorium which was originally extended in November 2019 for fiscal years 2020-21 and 2021-22, to all the major telecom players.
In the previous spectrum payment deferment decision taken in November 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the industry was being handed out a Rs 42,000 crore lifeline by delaying immediate payments, the reports were quoted as saying.