Telecom sector debt at a massive Rs 7.88 lakh crore

Kolkata: Union Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Nov 20, 2019.

New Delhi, The telecom sector is under a mountain of debt at Rs 7.88 lakh crore and these are the figures as of August 31, 2017, as per data released in Parliament on Wednesday.

Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a reply in Parliament that as per the Inter-Ministerial Group report of August 31, 2017, the total debt of the telecom industry was Rs 7.88 lakh crore.

Of this, the total Indian debt is Rs 1.77 lakh crore, the foreign debt is Rs 83,918 crore and the total bank/FI debt is Rs 2.61 lakh crore.

The bank guarantees are at Rs 50,000 crore. The deferred spectrum liabilities of DoT is to the tune of Rs 2.95 lakh crore.

The other third party liabilities are Rs 1.80 lakh crore, taking the total liabilities to Rs 7.88 lakh crore.

This was stated in a reply to an unstarred question raised by Kaushalendra Kumar, Ramesh Chander Kaushik, Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Saugata Roy and L.S. Tejasvi Surya on whether the government plans to waive the interest and penalties on the AGR levy as per Supreme Court.

Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in the reply that the Supreme Court has given three months time to deposit the payment and report the compliance.

The Minister in his reply said no such proposal of a waiver of interest and penalties is under the consideration of the government as on date. Similarly, no proposal for extending the time limit is under consideration as on date, the Minister said.

The Committee of Secretaries under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary held meetings to discuss the issues relating to the stress in the sector.