As per industry sources, government could use the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to help telecom companies, which are currently indebted with adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues worth Rs 1.47 trillion.
Currently, around 50 per cent of funds of the USOF worth Rs 520 billion are unutilised.
However, to use the money for purposes other than rural telephony, the government requires to make amendments to the USOF Act.
According to sources, since private telecom companies have a strong presence in rural areas, they can be exempt from contributing to the USOF. To this end, the balance can be used to lower their pending AGR payments.