AGR Must Be Properly Defined to Avoid Confusion in Telecom Sector: Trai Chairman

Trai Chairman RS Sharma addressed the uniform floor price appeal by telecom operators and said that Trai would come up with a decision soon

By May 18th, 2020 AT 9:54 AM

AGR dues have been troubling all the telecom operators in India. Since the supreme court directed the telcos to pay AGR dues assessed by DoT, all the telecom operators have been facing massive financial burden. Trai chairman RS Sharma stated that after the verdict of the supreme court on AGR issues, DoT must create an environment which would attract investments in future. Sharma also said that AGR must be clearly defined to avoid confusion and chaos in the telecom sector.

Telcos have Urged Trai to Impose Uniform Floor Price

Telecom operators earlier urged Trai to set a uniform floor price which would be applicable in all type of plans and subscribers. Telcos justified their reason for a uniform floor price and stated that fixing a floor price would increase the revenue for telecom operators and attract investments in future. On the topic, RS Sharma noted that due process of consultation is being followed and Trai will come up with a decision regarding the matter.

Telcos have to Pay Rs 1,47,000 Crore towards License Fees and SUC

Supreme court settled the AGR matter which was due from 15 years and asked telcos to pay AGR dues assessed by DoT. DoT AGR estimates included non-core items which burdened the telcos with license fees and spectrum usage charge dues worth Rs 1,47,000 crore. DoT has also raised similar estimates on non-telecom companies, and their dues stand around Rs 3 lakh crore.

Trai Chairman Lauded Telecom Operators For their Services During Challenging Times

Trai Chairman addressed the telecom operators at a digital roundtable organised by ET Telecom and Taipa and appreciated their efforts and services during the Covid-19 crisis. The digital roundtable conference also witnessed participation from Chairman of Bharti Infratel Akhil Gupta, Joint Secretary of DoT Hari Ranjan Rao and many more. As the entire nation is stuck at home, the demand for data and voice has been increased, and telecom operators are facing added pressure on their network towers. Despite facing burden, telecom operators are providing seamless services to its customers to ensure that they are connected with their loved ones in stressful times and use data for their work and entertainment purpose.

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This AGR issue, as I had predicted, would never die down and it’s going to be the SC that once again has to come into play. TRAI will come up with some arbitrary definition but that too will not provide any solution. This is almost too childish to be predictable like this.

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