India cabinet allows state telecoms to return 4G spectrum

NEW DELHI Thu Jan 9, 2014 9:11am EST

NEW DELHI Jan 9 (Reuters) - India's federal cabinet allowed state-run telecommunications carriers Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd to return their 4G radio spectrum and get refunds of a total 112.6 billion rupees ($1.8 billion), in a move to help the money-losing companies.

The government will refund 67.24 billion rupees to BSNL and 45.34 billion rupees to MTNL in a staggered manner, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters on Thursday after a meeting of the cabinet.

BSNL and MTNL had received the spectrum in 2010 but have not yet launched the services. ($1 = 62.1700 Indian rupees) (Reporting by C.K. Nayak; editing by Malini Menon)

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