Eocnomy Current Affairs - 2020

Cabinet approves two relief measures for stressed telecom sector

The Union Cabinet has approved two key measures in telecom sector to facilitate investments, consolidation in the sector and enhancing ease of doing business. These include restructuring

  • Deferred payment liabilities of spectrum auction of telecom service providers (TSPs).
  • Revising the limit of the cap for spectrum holding for TSPs.

Key Facts

Restructuring of Deferred Payment Liabilities of TSPs for spectrum

It extends time period for payment of spectrum bought in auction to 16 years from the present 10 years. It will give one-time opportunity for TSPs to opt for higher number of instalment (maximum 16 instalment) apart from currently permitted 10 instalments

The increased instalment is based upon principle that Net Present Value (NPV) of Payment Due is protected as per respective notice inviting application for auction of spectrum from 2012. The total amount received will be higher by Rs. 74,446 crore till 2034-35.

Revision of limits of cap for spectrum holding

Based upon the recommendations of TRAI and Telecom Commission, the Union Cabinet also approved revision of limits of cap for spectrum holding. They are

  • Overall spectrum cap is revised from current limit of 25% to 35%.
  • Current intra-band cap is removed. Instead, there is cap of 50% on combined spectrum holding in sub-1 GHz bands (700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands).
  • There will be no cap for individual or combined spectrum holding in above 1 GHz band.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended revision in existing limits of cap for spectrum holding taking into consideration technological advancement, efficient use of spectrum, measures to facilitate consolidation etc. The revised spectrum caps limits may be revisited in future after Final Acts of World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2019.


Restructuring of deferred payment liability will increase cash flow for telecom service providers in immediate timeframe and provide them some relief. Revising spectrum limit cap holding will facilitate consolidation of telecom licensees, thus aid mergers and acquisitions in the sector and may encourage TSPs participation in future spectrum auction.

India 12th largest overseas holder of US securities in 2017

According to recent figures compiled by US Treasury Department, India is 12th largest overseas holder of US government securities. India’s exposure to it has risen sharply to high of US $144.7 billion at end of 2017.

The preliminary data from June 2017 benchmark survey of foreign portfolio holdings of US securities showed that total value of such holding was $18.44 trillion. Out of the total, $7.19 trillion was in equities, $10.29 trillion in long-term debt securities and $954 billion in short-term debt securities.

Key Facts

India holdings in US government securities in 2017 have raised except for few months when total exposure had declined. India’s holding of India went up to US $144.7 billion in December 2017, which was increase of little over $26 billion compared to year-ago period.

In December 2016, India’s exposure was just $118.2 billion. While holding at end of December 2017 is at one-year high compared to December 2016, the exposure was slightly higher at $145.1 billion in September 2017.

In 2017, China was largest holder of US government securities with holdings to tune of $1.18 trillion, followed by Japan at $1.06 trillion. Ireland was third with holdings of $326.5 billion followed by Cayman Islands ($269.9 billion), Brazil ($256.8 billion), UK ($250 billion), Switzerland ($249.6 billion), Luxembourg ($217.6 billion), Hong Kong ($194.7 billion) and Taiwan ($180.9 billion).  Among the BRIC countries, India had the third largest exposure while that of Russia was lower at $102.2 billion.