Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha has recently assured that the necessary corrective steps will be taken by the Government for ensuring orderly growth in this sector in terms of services to the common man including in rural areas.
Sinha told telcos that the inter-ministerial group (IMG) looking into the financial issues of the debt-laden telecom sector would submit its report to the government shortly. The IMG will recommend policy reforms and strategic interventions.
The minister said that each telecom operator had given a detailed roadmap of suggestions for the betterment of the sector.
After a two-hour meeting with promoters and senior executives of telecom firms, Sinha informed the industry that an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) has been formed to examine systematic issues affecting viability and repayment capacity in telecom sector and furnish recommendations for resolution of stressed assets at the earliest and recommend policy reforms and strategic interventions for telecom sector. The IMG has held wide consultations with Banks and telecom service providers and is likely to submit its report shortly.
According to sources, incumbent telcos stressed on the matter of interconnect usage (IUC) reduction in license fees and lower spectrum usage charges.
The sector is in under pressure due to increasing pressure after the entry Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio and a debt of about Rs. 4.6 lakh crore.
To recall bankers also met IMG recently where they expressed that there is a stress in the telecom industry.
The bankers are worried and said that there can be defaults unless some solution is found soon," sources close to the development said. Adding that SBI's exposure alone to the telecom sector is around Rs 70,000 crore.