Operators seeking automatic ECB to fund 3G bid

The telecom players across the country have expressed their plans to raise external commercial borrowing (ECB) route for funding the 3G bid to the finance ministry.The fund raising through domestic financial institutions at this time would mean a higher interest to be paid, which would eventually affect the financial and economic viability of the project.

The current guidelines on ECBs issued by the Reserve Bank of India permit raising only $100 million for capital expenditure in foreign currency, which cannot be raised to fund the cost of 3G spectrum that comes for auction by the end of this year. The telecom companies have also raised their voice to further relax the rules so that the companies can repay ECBs raised for funding the 3G auction.

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