Skip to main content

Govt may allow 100% FDI in telecom via automatic route

Govt may allow 100% FDI in telecom via automatic route
The government is finalising a plan to allow 100 per cent FDI for telecom services through the automatic route which allows firms to attract foreign funds without its approval, sources said today.
The proposal is likely to be considered by the Telecom Commission, the apex decision making body of the Department of Telecom, at its meeting scheduled for tomorrow, they said."The TC is likely to consider raising of FDI limit up to 100 per cent for all telecom services including infrastructure through automatic route," a source said.
At present 100 per cent FDI is allowed, of which up to 49 per cent investment in a company can be done through the automatic route. The inflow of overseas investment beyond that requires government approval because of security reasons.The panel is also likely to discuss the relief package recommended by an inter-ministerial group (IMG) for the telecom sector which is reeling under debt of around Rs 4.5 lakh crore.
In its September meeting, the Telecom Commission had in- principle approved the extension of time period for the payment of spectrum bought in auctions by telcos to 16 years from the current 10 years, as recommended by the IMG.It had also approved the IMG recommendation to lower the interest rate charged over penalties imposed on service providers with slight modifications.
The commission had sought a legal opinion on some of the points it approved at its previous meeting in September-end before firming up its view.The panel had also sought views of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on IMG's proposal to relax spectrum cap as it will provide exit path to loss-making mobile service providers and ease consolidation in the sector.
Trai last month recommended that the ceiling on spectrum held by mobile operators within a particular band should be removed, while suggesting a 50 per cent cap on combined radio wave holding in efficient bands like 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz.
If these suggestions are accepted by the DoT, they would provide a major relief for the soon-to-be-merged Idea Cellular and Vodafone, as they would have breached the spectrum caps in certain locations under the existing rules.It would also enable aggressive newcomer Reliance Jio to pick up additional spectrum, if needed, in bands like 800 MHz.
Trai has also suggested that the overall cap on holding spectrum should be raised from the current 25 per cent to 35 per cent.According to the source, the panel may also consider approving of grants for IITs to set up lab for indigenous development and testing of 5G technologies.
The Times of India, New Delhi, 21th December 2017

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India

Shrinking footprints of foreign banks in India Foreign banks are increasingly shrinking their presence in India and are also becoming more conservative than private and public sector counterparts. While many of them have sold some of their businesses in India as part of their global strategy, some are trying to keep their core expertise intact. Others are branching out to newer areas to continue business momentum.For example, HSBC and Barclays Bank in India have got out of the retail business, whereas corporate-focused Standard Chartered Bank is now trying to increase its focus on retail “Building a retail franchise is a huge exercise and takes a long time. You cannot afford to lose it,” said Shashank Joshi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s India head.According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, foreign banks’ combined loan book shrunk nearly 10 per cent from Rs 3.78 trillion in fiscal 2015-16 to Rs 3.42 trillion last financial year. The banking industry, which includes foreign banks…

RBI rushes in to prop up falling rupee

RBI rushes in to prop up falling rupee India’s central bank reportedly intervened in the currency markets on Monday to prevent a further slide in the local unit, which breached the 67 mark to a dollar for the first time in 15 months amid a widening trade gap and runaway import bills fuelled by high crude-oil prices. Some state-owned banks were seen selling dollars aggressively, interventions that market dealers attributed to the central bank’s strategy to stem the decline of the Indian rupee against the US currency. The rupee is the worst performing among a dozen Asian monetary units in the past three months. It lost 4.25 per cent to the dollar during the period, show data from Bloomberg. On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is said to have sold about Rs 800 million collectively on the spot and exchange traded futures markets, dealers said. An email sent to RBI remained unanswered until the publication of this report. The currency market has seen such a strong central bank interven…

GST Refund of Rs 20,000 Cr Pending: Exporters’ Body

GST Refund of Rs  20,000 Cr Pending: Exporters’ Body Refund of over Rs 20,000 crore on account of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is pending with the government with more than half the amount stuck as input tax credit, Federation of Indian Export Organisations said on Tuesday. While claims over Rs7,000 crore were cleared in March, the amount was Rs 1,000 crore in April.However, after exporters’ request, the GST council and tax department are organizing a second phase of Special Refund Fortnight starting May 31, which will enable exporters to draw their refunds at a speedy pace. Many exporters have been unable to file the refund of input tax credit due to technical glitches, exports and claim happened in different months. The major challenge lies on ITC refund especially because the process is partly electronic and partly manual which is cumbersome and add to the transaction cost, the exporters’ body said. On IGST, refunds are getting delayed due to airline and shipping companies not submitt…