The government has decided not to change the deadline for the licence fees dues for private telecom operators. The private operators migrating to the new revenue sharing arrangement are to pay 35 per cent of the licence fee in advance, by 15 August 1999.
Some of the companies are finding it difficult to arrange for funds at such short notice. Considerable time has been lost due to the matter ending up in court following a public interest litigation case. Since the day falls on a holiday, the government is willing to extend the deadline till the 16th but not beyond, in view of the code of conduct declared by the election commission.
The operators had agreed to shift to the revenue sharing regime towards which the government had cleared a bailout policy on 6 July. The operators were to migrate to this regime by 1 August and pay the licence fee by 15 August.
The operators have a four-month period to furnish the bank guarantees for their outstandings. The financial institutions have indicated their limitation in enhancing the bank guarantees for these operators without financial closure. The government, in these circumstances, has decided to proceed with the signing of the contracts with the operators once the first instalments are in.
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Basic and cellular telephone operators in India