Shares of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel jumped up to 8.5 per cent on Wednesday amid reports the government has constituted a panel to work out a bailout package for the telecom sector. As the telecom sector stares at a massive payout following a Supreme Court order, the government has created a Committee of Secretaries to work out a financial bailout package that may include lowering of spectrum charges as well as ending the era of free mobile phone calls and dirt cheap data.
Shares of Vodafone Idea zoomed 8.57 per cent to Rs 4.18 on the BSE.
Likewise, Bharti Airtel also gained 3 per cent to Rs 370.80.
The Committee of Secretaries has been asked to examine “all aspects” of “financial stress” faced by service providers such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea and suggest measures to mitigate them, sources in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said.
The panel, which will comprise of secretaries to the ministries of finance, law, and telecom, has been asked to look at the demands of telecom service providers (TSPs) for deferment of payments they had promised for the spectrum won through auction as well as consider lowering airwave usage charge.
While older TSPs such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea have been talking of financial stress ever since they faced intense competition from free voice and dirt-cheap data from newcomer Reliance Jio, the matter has assumed greater importance after the October 24 judgment of the Supreme Court.
Shares of Bharti Airtel on Tuesday fell over 3 per cent after the company deferred the September quarter result announcement till November 14, due to the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) issue.