Reliance Jio, the fastest-growing telecom operator in the country has paid the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) an amount of Rs 10,792 crore. This way, it completely clears the dues towards spectrum purchased in the 2016 auctions, claimed a person familiar with this matter. As per a report by PTI, the person stated that Jio has paid Rs 10,792 crore to the DoT for the airwaves that were purchased in 2016. However, they still have dues that are pending for spectrum bought in 2013 and some of 2010.
Reliance Jio Pays DoT
The payment made by Reliance Jio came at a time when Bharti Airtel has accepted the proposal from the government for a four-year moratorium on spectrum and AGR (adjusted gross revenue) payments. This was a move that is estimated by analysts to help India’s second largest telco save an amount of Rs 11,000 crore to Rs 11,500 crore in annual cash flows. This amount can be utilised for network expansion and to purchase the 5G spectrums.
On the other hand, Vodafone aka Vi has opted for a spectrum moratorium that will give the telco, which is cash-strapped some extent of cashflow relief that is worth around Rs 60,000 crore. Another industry executive stated that Jio has not confirmed if it will opt for a spectrum moratorium for the pending dues to the government.
Notably, Jio has time until October 29 to respond to avail the option of spectrum moratorium. In the meantime, a DoT letter follows the relief package announced by the Indian government in mid September. It included the four-year moratorium on AGR as well as spectrum payments, steeply reduced BGs, and an option to convert the statutory dues into government equity. However, both Vi and Airtel are yet to confirm the equity conversion. Notably. Vi is yet to respond on AGR dues.