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India considers relief for ailing telecom operators

Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel face March 17 deadline for clearing dues

India's debt-laden telecom industry has been seeking a relief package from the government as operators face an impending March 17 deadline to pay billions of dollars in penalties and levies following a Supreme Court order last month.   © Reuters

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- India is considering offering relief to the beleaguered telecom industry by allowing companies to stagger payments on their outstanding levies and penalties, even as Vodafone Idea, the nation's biggest wireless carrier, totters on the brink of bankruptcy.

The telecommunications department has readied a proposal to allow operators to stagger over five-to-10 years the payments of their adjusted gross revenue dues, a senior government official told NewsRise on Wednesday. The department is awaiting inputs from the attorney general on the prospects of seeking cabinet approval for the proposal before Mar. 17.

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