Big Telecom Reforms Like 100% FDI Without Government Approval

A plan to allow 100 per cent foreign investment in telecom through automatic route — meaning the investor does not need prior approval from the Reserve Bank or the government — got cabinet approval on Wednesday along with eight other key measures.

The announcement by Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw — is part of the government’s comprehensive package for the telecom sector, which also included a 4-year moratorium for telcos to pay their AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue), spectrum and unpaid dues.

The minister said spectrum user charges will also be rationalised. In other measures expected to ease the cash flow issues being faced by most big telcos, the cabinet decided to rationalise the definition of AGR by excluding non-telecom dues and cancel the penalty clause, the minister added.

“Spectrum duration too has been increased from 20 years to 30 years… Spectrum sharing has been allowed and 100 per cent FDI has been approved in the sector in the automatic route. These steps will bring huge investments in the sector, and we all know investments mean jobs,” the minister said.