Winners of spectrum pay up Rs 1,700 cr to govt

Spectrum

The government has received a net payment of Rs 1,706.92 crore from telecom companies which have won spectrum in the recently concluded auction, sources said.

This amount is far less than the targeted Rs 40,000 crore from spectrum sale in the current financial year. The government was banking heavily on the targeted amount to narrow down the fiscal deficit.

The winners in the recently-held spectrum auction have the option of making deferred payments under which they are required to pay 33 per cent upfront and the rest in equal instalments after a moratorium of 2 years.

Government sources said Telenor promoted Telewings Communications has paid Rs 1,326.03 crore out of Rs 4,018.28 crore it needed to pay, Vodafone paid Rs 372.22 crore out of the required Rs 1,127.94 crore.

Bharti Airtel paid the entire amount of Rs 8.67 crore.

Videocon and Idea Cellular needed to pay Rs 733.08 crore and Rs 670.33 crore, respectively, but they adjusted their payments against licence fee they had paid for permits that were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February this year.

The Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom in October had decided to adjust the earlier payment made by companies whose licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February on a rider that there are no criminal proceedings pending against them in 2G scam case.

Telenor was hopeful of adjusting Rs 1,658 crore licence fee of its joint venture Uninor, but it was not granted the benefit.

"Telewings is a separate company and hence it has to make payment," sources at Department of Telecommunications said.

The bids received for spectrum in the recent auction were valued at Rs 9,407.64 crore.

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