As per Goldman Sachs, the budget data 2020 suggests that the government may be expecting to receive the principal portion of statutory liability from telecom firms in the current financial year (FY) itself.

Goldman Sachs, in its report, noted that government has revised the expected proceeds from ‘Other Communication Services’ upwards in FY20. A part of that could be attributed to recurring licence fee/spectrum charges and deferred payment liability, an estimated $ 2.9 billion (around Rs 207 billion) are likely from other avenues.

Further, the report noted that this $2.9 billion is roughly equivalent to the principal-only component of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s combined adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related liability. As per Goldman’s estimates, the expected proceeds in FY21 as per the budget indicates about $15 billion non-recurring payment from telcos, however, it is unclear if this only accounts for potential spectrum auction proceeds, or if there is any component of AGR liability in the amount.

As per the report, telcos’ ability to participate in spectrum auctions in the near term remains uncertain, especially if they decide to make substantial payment of the dues in short term