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Govt allows telecoms to defer spectrum dues by  up  to  2  years


New Delhi, Nov 21: In a major relief to stressed-out telecom sector, the Centre on Wednesday allowed them to defer payments for spectrum purchases by up to two years.

The move to defer payments for 2020-21 and 2021-22 will be a breather to these companies while helping Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd as well.

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The move comes on the close heels of the Supreme Court order that directed older telecom firms to pay at least Rs 92,000 crore in past dues to the government within three months.

India's two leading telecom operators Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel were hit the order. They reported a combined loss of Rs 74,000 crore for the second quarter ended September 2019, mainly on account of statutory dues arising from the recent Supreme Court order on AGR.

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In one of the highest-ever quarterly loss by any corporate in India, Vodafone Idea posted a loss of Rs 50,921 crore, while Airtel reported a loss of Rs 23,045 crore.

Reliance too posted a consolidated loss of Rs 30,142 crore for July-September 2019 due to provisioning for liabilities after the Supreme Court ruling on statutory dues marking the second-highest loss posted by any Indian corporate till date.

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