Can reforms save India's telecom sector? | In Focus podcast

Ankit Jain tells us whether the relief that has been provided is enough to sustain the telcos who are under a mountain of debt

On September 15, the Union Cabinet approved a series of reforms and relief measures for the telecom sector. The most significant of these is a four-year moratorium on payments stemming from the Supreme Court’s September 2020 judgement on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR). Another one is the decision to remove all non-telecom revenue from AGR.

The telecom sector is also now allowed to receive 100% FDI through the automatic route – up from the 49% that was permitted earlier. Taken together, these policy changes are expected to help the telecom majors overcome short-term liquidity issues, and raise capital, enabling them to keep their debts under control and invest in capacity-building.

However, questions remain. What is the actual quantum of relief on offer? Will it be adequate for those players who are under a mountain of debt? And can the reforms package sustain a three-player market? We explore these questions in this episode.

Guest: Ankit Jain, Assistant Vice President and Sector Head, Corporate Ratings, at ICRA Limited

Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu

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