According to a decision of the Department of Telecom in December 2021, telecom companies were given concession in the matter of their dues and interest liability. But Reliance Jio has paid the dues ahead of time.
Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), a subsidiary of Jio Platforms Limited, on Wednesday announced that it has paid Rs 30,791 crore (including accrued interest) to the Department of Telecommunications on its behalf. The payment pertains to the spectrum liability acquired through the spectrum auction process in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. Which includes spectrum liability as well as interest amount. Along with this, RIL has paid the dues of spectrum acquired under Right to Use with Bharti Airtel in the year 2021. Having said this, the 585.3 MHz spectrum of Airtel was acquired by Jio.
According to a decision of the Department of Telecom in December 2021, telecom companies were given a concession in the matter of their dues and interest liability. But the company has paid the dues ahead of time. RJIL has fulfilled all the liabilities of spectrum acquired from the 2014 and 2015 auctions in January 2022. Whereas these liabilities could be given in annual installments from the financial year 2022-23 to 2034-35, on which there was a provision of paying 9.30 percent to 10 percent interest. But the company has made these payments ahead of time. RJIL believes that by making premature payments, the company has saved about Rs 1,200 crore annually at the current interest rate.
“Subsequent to Department of Telecom’s decision in December 2021 providing the telcos the flexibility to prepay their deferred spectrum liabilities on any date, RJIL has now prepaid in the month of January, the entire deferred liabilities acquired in the auction in the year 2014 and 2015 as well as spectrum acquired through trading,” the company said.
The company still has spectrum dues pertaining to last year, when it acquired spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 57,123 crore.
While it made an upfront payment of Rs 19,939 crore, it still has to pay the remaining Rs 37,184 crore. According to the terms of last year’s auction, the deferred payments have to be made over 18 years (two-year moratorium plus 16-year repayment period) with interest computed at 7.3 percent per annum.