Salient Features of Agreements With USPS

A. AGREEMENT FOR PROVISION OF WIRE LINE BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY IN RURAL AND REMOTE AREAS

(a) General Conditions
The scope of this Agreement aims at provision of broadband connections to the rural and remote areas of the country through the existing wire line network of BSNL.

The effective date of the Agreement is 20th January 2009.

The Agreement shall remain valid for eight years from the effective date.

From each exchange a maximum of 31 individual/govt. institutional connections and one kiosk shall be subsidised by USOF.

For individual/govt. institutional connections, in addition to subsidy for connectivity which shall be paid as FLS and EQA, subsidy for CPE and Computing device shall also be payable.

One connection for every exchange is to be given on preferential basis to Women's SHGs (Circular).

All individual/govt. institutional connections shall be provided with CPEs. However, for Computer/Computing device the subscriber shall have an option to have the broadband connection without computer/computing device also. Subsidy support for computer/computing device shall be restricted to 31 connections per exchange.

USP shall offer two special USOF Subsidized tariff plans of Rs. 99/- and Rs. 150/- per month throughout the validity period of the Agreement as detailed below:

USOF TARIFF PLANS

Tariff Plan Minimum Speed of the Broadband connection Free Download Rate per MB for extra usage Monthly charges (Rs) Registration  Security, and installation charges
(Rs)
 CPE rental (for Type I ADSL Modem) (Rs)
1 512kbps 400MB 0.4 99/- Nil Nil
2 512kbps 1 GB 0.4 150/- Nil Nil

In addition to these two packages, BSNL will be free to provide other tariff packages as well (Circulated by USOF HQ). However the USOF Tariff plans shall be made available by BSNL through out the validity of the Agreement.

Prescribed Tariff Packages as per Agreement must be offered.

Also the USP shall not charge tariffs higher than the tariff as per TRAI
orders/Regulations/Directions issued with regard to such service in rural areas from time to time from the subscribers or the tariff charges by the USP for this type/similar type of service in urban areas whichever be lower.


(b) Submission of claims and settlement thereto

Exchange-wise subsidy shall be as per Annexure II to the Agreement No. 30-160-8/WIRELINE-BB/2006-USF dt. 20.01.2009.

Subsidy for CPE shall be Rs.850/- limited up to 62 numbers per exchange and for computing device/computers it shall by Rs.4500/- on net addition basis, limited up to 31 numbers per exchange. The USP shall be free to offer higher and CPEs and Computers/Computing devices, but the subsidy per connection shall be restricted to Rs.850/- and Rs. 4500/- respectively.

The USP shall receive FLS on installation of individual/govt. institutional connections and shall also receive EQA subsidy up to a maximum period of two years from the date of installation or up to the validity of the Agreement whichever is earlier. FLS shall be payable for net additions for the respective exchange.

For Kiosks, the USP shall receive only EQA subsidy for three years from the date of installation or till the validity of the Agreement, whichever is earlier.

USP Shall be eligible for FLS at the end of the quarter in which the connections are installed and made functional or at the end of the subsequent quarter.

Subsidy shall be disbursed quarterly in arrears generally with 60 days of the receipt of the valid claim for the connection/kiosk maintained up to the end of previous quarter.

Quarterly subsidy claims in prescribed formats along with attachments and annexures shall be submitted within 30 days of the end of the quarter. Even when the Quarterly claim is NIL, the claim shall have to be submitted. Claims received after this date shall be rejected unless under exceptional circumstances, an extension is allowed by the administrator.

For individual/govt. institutional connections that remain faulty for more than 7 days in a quarter, the USP shall provide rebate against the charges for the connections as per TRAI regulations. In case no rebate is allowed by the USP subsidy shall be deducted for the full quarter in respect of such connections. No subsidy shall be disbursed for the connections that remain faulty for 45 days or more during the quarter.

For kiosks remaining faulty for more than 7 days and less than 45 days in a quarter, pro rata EQA subsidy shall be deducted for the total number of days the kiosk remains faulty. No EQA subsidy shall be payable for faults of 45 days of more in a quarter.

The connections/kiosks that are closed permanently shall be eligible to receive EQA subsidy from the date of installation till the date on which they are closed.

Subsidy for a quarter shall be paid after making adjustments, if any, for the payments made ini the previous quarters.

Final adjustments in respect subsidy disbursed (excess/short) during a year, if any, shall be made in the following year based on the quarterly statements duly certified by the auditors of the USP. In case the USP is found to have claimed and received in excess of 10% of the subsidy due, the entire amount in excess of 10% shall be recovered along with interest from the date of disbursement at the PLR of SBI prevalent on the day of disbursement.

(c) Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG)

There shall be no PBG as along as BSNL continues to be a 100% Government owned company.

(d) Roll Out

 
By the end of 2nd Year
By the end of 5th Year
Individual/Institutional Broadband connections
At least 3 Govt. Institutions and 2 individual users per exchange.
At least 6 Govt. Institutions and 25 individual users per exchange.
Kiosks
At least 1 Kiosk per 10 exchanges ensuring that at least 1 Kiosk is provided in each SDCA.
1 Kiosk per exchange

By the end of 2nd Year By the end of 5th Year

Individual/Institutional Broadband connections At least 3 Govt. Institutions and 2 individual users per exchange. At least 6 Govt. Institutions and 25 individual users per exchange.

Kiosks At least 1 Kiosk per 10 exchanges ensuring that at least 1 Kiosk is provided in each SDCA. 1 Kiosk per exchange.

B. PROVISION OF VPTs IN UNCOVERED VILLAGES (Phase II)

(a) General Conditions
The scope of this Agreement is to provide VPTs in newly identified uncovered inhabited villages, as per Census 2001 without any public telephone facility, in the service areas described in the Agreement and to operate and maintain such VPTs.

In addition to the VPTs specified in the Agreement, the USP may provide the VPTs in other areas also (including those decided by Government time to time) like:

• in villages with more than 40% SC population,

• villages left out due to naxalite/insurgency prone areas, deep forest, villages left out in other agreements relating to Public access,

• in Army posts and other remote locations new villages subsequently identified under Census 2001,

• in hamlets

• in villages owing to any other reason as specified by Government time to time.


The details of such villages described above shall be specified by the Administrator separately and will form an integral part of the Agreement.

Where VPTs cannot be provided under BSO Licence, the same may be provided on GSM using fixed cellular terminals (FCTs) as CPEs, with prior approval of the Administrator.

VPTs provided on FWTs/FCTs should be provided with Solar charging devices of adequate capacity as power back up.

Charge indicators for computation of charges payable by users to be provided by every VPT.

Every VPT should have a sign board.

The effective date of agreement is 27th February, 2009 and the validity of Agreement is 7 years from the effective date.

The subsidy support under the Agreement shall be up to a maximum period of 5 (five) years from the date the VPT is installed and made functional.

The Universal Service Provider may change the location of VPTs to provide better access to the public within the geographical boundaries of the same village. No payments for relocating the VPTs will be made from USOF on the expenditure incurred on relocation.

The USP shall be solely responsible for provision and operation of necessary equipment and systems, treatment of subscriber complaints, collection of call charges and issue of receipt thereof, attending to claims and damages arising out of operations.

The USP shall work within the framework of the terms and conditions of the basic service license.

(b) Submission of claims by USPs and settlement thereto

The SSA wise and technology wise representative rates at which front loaded and equated annual subsidy is disbursable are given in Part V 'Financial Conditions' of the Agreement.

The USP shall receive subsidy from the date VPT is installed and made functional.

The VPTs installed during the period 01.10.2007 to 26.02.2009 shall deem to have been installed on 27.02.2009.

The USP shall be eligible to submit the claim for FLS at the end of the quarter in which VPT is installed and made functional.

The quarterly subsidy claims will be submitted by USP in the prescribed form and the Annexures/Attachments thereto within 30 days from the close of the quarter.

The claims should be duly certified with an Affidavit by a representative of USP duly authorized by a resolution of the Board of Directors and verified by the Competent Authority.

The quarterly statements of subsidy claims shall be required to be audited by the Auditors of USP and the report of the Auditors to be filed with the Administrator within seven days of the signing of the Audit Report but not later than 30th September of the following year.

The subsidy from the USOF shall be disbursed in four quarterly installments during each financial year. Each installment shall be disbursed quarterly in arrears. Subsidy for a quarter shall be disbursed after making adjustments, if any, for the payments made in the previous quarter. Final adjustments, if any, in respect of excess or shortage in the subsidy disbursed shall be made in the following year based on the quarterly statements duly certified by the Auditors of the USP.

In case total amount disbursed for a financial year based on quarterly self assessment claims of the USP results in excess payment by more than 10% of the actual subsidy due to him, the entire amount of excess payment shall be recovered along with an interest at the prime lending rate of State Bank of India prevalent on the day the respective disbursement was made.

(c) Other conditions

In cases of faults for more than 7 days in a quarter, the subsidy shall be deducted proportionately for the total number of days VPT remained faulty during the quarter. In cases, however, where the VPT remains faulty for 45 days or more in a quarter, no subsidy for the entire quarter shall be allowed.

VPTs that remain disconnected on account of non-payment and VPTs that register no incremental meter reading during the entire quarter shall not qualify for any subsidy support for that quarter.

VPTs subsidy claim should be verified by the Competent Authority to the effect that information furnished in the claim tallies with billing record.

(d) Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG)

BSNL is the lone USP under this agreement. As such no PBG is required as long as it is a 100% Govt. owned company.

(e) Roll Out

Period Numbers to be rolled out
Within 18 months from the effective date of agreement 90% of the VPTs in the SSA Concerned of the service area
Within 24 months from the effective date of agreement Balance.

 


C. OPEX: OPERATION AMD MAINTENANCE OF VILLAGE PUBLIC TELEPHONES

(a) The Agreement is valid for a period of seven years.

(b) SSA-wise technology specific Representative Rate for which subsidy is to be given forms part of the agreement.

(c) For wireless technologies, WLL rate shall apply wherever no Representative Rate has emerged, unless specifically allowed.

(d) The VPTs on any wireless technology shall be provided using Fixed wireless Terminals (FWTs)

(e) Review of representative Rate in the third year taking into account, inter-alia, the increase in revenue on account of provision of STD facility. The revised rates to be applicable from the 4th year onwards (already undertaken)

(f) Disbursement of subsidy to be made quarterly.

(g) Claims to be submitted within 30 days from the close of the quarter. (revised from the earlier 15 days).

(h) For amounts received in excess of 10% of the subsidy due for a financial year, the entire amount paid in excess shall be recovered along with an interest from the date of disbursement at the Prime Lending Rate of SBI.

(i) Deduction of pro-rata subsidy on account of telephones remaining faulty for more than seven days in a quarter. In cases where the VPT remains faulty for 45 days or more in a quarter, no subsidy for the entire quarter shall be allowed.

(j) With effect from the QE 30.09.2004, VPTs that remain disconnected on account of non-payment and VPTs that register no incremental meter reading during the entire quarter shall not qualify for any support for that quarter (vide letter No. 30-101/2002-USF dated 14-09-2004).

(k) MARR VPTs on their replacement will not be eligible for subsidy under this Agreement for OPEX.

(l) The USP may change the location of VPTs to provide better access to the public within the same village. No payments for relocating the VPTs will be made from USOF on the expenditure incurred on relocation.

(m) Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) equivalent to one quarter’s subsidy payable for all the VPTs in the Service Area for which the Agreement has been entered into. For BSNL the requirement for submission for PBG has been waived as long as it is a 100% Govt. owned company.

(n) The Agreement for J&K Service Area will be renewed Yearly.

(THIS AGREEMENT HAS COME TO END)

D. REPLACEMENT OF MARR VILLAGE PUBLIC TELEPHONE


(a) Subsidy for a VPTs shall be for seven years from the date of its replacement or up to the date of termination of Agreement, whichever is earlier.

(b) Roll-out obligation prescribing 50% of the MARR VPTs in the Service Area to be replaced within one year from the effective date of the Agreement and the balance within two years from the effective date of the Agreement. The period has been extended to 3 years vide letter No. 30-107.2002-USF dated 21/10/2004.

(c) Provision of LD in case of non-fulfillment of the roll out obligation. The liquidated damages shall be at 10% of the annual subsidy payable for those VPTs for each calendar month of delay or part thereof, subject to a maximum of 20% of the annual subsidy payable.

(d) SSA wise technology neutral Representative Rates.

(e) Review of representative Rate in the third year taking into account, inter-alia the increase in revenue on account of provision of STD facility. The revised rates to be applicable from the 4th year onwards. The review has already been undertaken.

(f) Disbursement of subsidy to be made quarterly in arrears.

(g) Claims to be submitted within 30 days from the close of the quarter.

(h) For amount received in excess of 10% of the subsidy due for the financial year, the entire amount paid in excess shall be recovered along with an interest from the date of disbursement at the Prime Lending Rate of SBI.

(i) Deduction of pro-rata subsidy on account of telephones remaining faulty for more than seven days in a quarter. In cases where the VPTs remains faulty for 45 days or more than in a quarter, no subsidy for the entire quarter shall be allowed.

(j) W.e.f the quarter ending 30-09-2004 VPTs that remain disconnected on account of non payment and VPTs that register no incremental meter reading during the entire quarter shall not qualify for any support for that quarter.

(k) Since BSNL only has emerged as the successful bidder, no performance Bank Guarantee has been imposed. For BSNL the requirement for submission of PBG has been waived as long as it is a 100% Government owned Company.

(THIS AGREEMENT HAS COME TO END)

E. PROVISION OF RCP

(a) The Agreement is valid for a total period of 8 (Eight) years from the Effective date. The subsidy support shall be extended up to a maximum period of 5 (Five) years from the date the VPT/RCP is installed and made functional.

(b) The universal Service Provider shall receive the Subsidy consisting of a front loaded subsidy component and equated annual subsidy up to a maximum period of five years, from the date the VPT/RCP is provided and made functional .

(c) The front loaded subsidy shall be given at the end of the quarter in which VPT is installed and made functional. The equated annual subsidy shall be disbursed in four quarterly installments during each financial year, with each quarter ending on 30th of June, 30th of September and 31st of March.

(d) Deduction of pro-rata subsidy on account of telephones remaining faulty for mare than seven days in a quarter. In cases where the VPT/RCP remains faulty for 45 days or more in a quarter, no subsidy for the entire quarter shall be allowed.

(e) VPTs/RCPs that register no incremental meter reading/calls or remain disconnected due to non-payment during an entire quarter shall not qualify for subsidy support for that quarter.

(f) Roll out obligation: At least 20% of the VPTs/RCPs shall be provided by the end of 2nd year. The balance of the VPTs/RCPs shall be provided by the end of third year from the effective date of Agreement.

(g) For the shortfall in providing the required number of VPTs/RCPs by the end of second third year respectively, liquidated Damages at the rate of 5% of front loaded subsidy payable for those VPTs/RCPs for each calendar month of delay or part thereof, subject to a maximum of 10% of the front loaded subsidy thus payable for those VPTs/RCPs shall be recovered, unless the delay has been condoned.

(h) The universal Service Provider shall submit a Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) valid for one year equivalent to front loaded subsidy disbursable under the Agreement for 2% of the VPTs/RCPs in all the SSAs of the Service Area for which the Agreement is entered into.

(i) From the start of the second year the amount of PBG shall have to be equivalent to the front loaded subsidy disbursable under the Agreement for 60% of the VPTs/RCPs in all the SSAs of the Service Area for which the Agreement is entered into. The PBG shall be reduced to its original amount from the start of the fourth year or on completion of the roll out obligation by installing all VPTs/RCPs in all the SSAs of the Service Area for which Agreement is entered into, whichever is later. For BSNL the requirement for submission of PBG has been waived as long as it is a 100% Government owned Company. The Performance Bank Guarantees are being presently maintained at USF HQs.

(THIS AGREEMENT HAS COME TO END)

F. SALIENT FEATURES OF AGREEMENT FOR PROVISION OF RURAL HOUSE- HOLD DELS

(Installed prior to 01.04.2002)

(a) Support has been provided for Rural household Direct Exchange Lines (DELS) installed prior to 1.4.2002 to BSNL on the terms and conditions specified. No other Private Basic Service Operators has furnished any claim

(b) The period of Subsidy support from Universal Service obligation Fund is 1.4.2002 to 31.01.2004.

(c) Only the rural household DELs on Fixed line telephony Service including wireless in local loop technology (Fixed) qualify for subsidy support from USOF. Public telephones (PCOs/VPTs) and WLL (Mobile) and other Mobile Services are NOT eligible for subsidy support from USOF.

(d) The Subsidy support from USOF for each rural household DEL is the difference between the monthly Rental prescribed by TRAI and the monthly Rental charged by the Service Provider.

(e) The rural household DELS that are closed permanently between 1.4.2002 to 31.1.2004, either on account of surrenders or on account of non-payment by the subscribers, shall be eligible to receive subsidy support from USOF from 1.4.2002 till the end of the month preceding the month in which they are closed.

(f) The subsidy support from USOF is to be disbursed in two installments-one covering the financial year 2002-03 and the second installment covering the period 1.4.2003 to 31.01.2004.

(g) The source of information for filling the claim is the billing record.

(THIS AGREEMENT HAS COME TO END)

G. SALIENT FEATURES OF AGREEMENT FOR PROVISION OF RURAL HOUSEHOLD DELS

(Installed during 1.4.2005 to 31.3.2007)

(a) The Rural Household Direct Exchange Lines (RDELS) shall be provided in the specified short distance charging areas(SDCA).

(b) The support to be given will comprise a front loaded subsidy and an equated annual subsidy where payable based on Capital Recovery annualized over a period of seven years and annual Operation and Maintenance expenditure for provision of the customer premises terminal equipment inclusive of the local loop minus the annual Revenue. Only the rural household DELs installed after the effective date of the Agreement, on fixed wire lines (Landline) and wireless in local loop technology (Fixed WLL) will qualify for subsidy support from USO Fund. Public telephones (VPTs/PCOs/RCPs) WLL (Mobile) services will not be eligible for subsidy support from USO Fund under this Agreement.

(c) The Agreement shall be valid for a period of 5 years from 1.4.2005.

(d) The Universal Service Provider shall receive the Subsidy towards Rural Household DELs installed up to 31.03.2007. The equated annual subsidy where payable shall be paid from the date the rural household DEL is installed and made functional up to the validity period of the Agreement.
.
(e) The front loaded subsidy shall be payable only for net addition of rural household DELs in a local exchange area. Net addition shall mean the number of RDELs added after making adjustment for RDELs closed permanently on account of surrenders, non-payment or shifts out of the Local Exchange Area.

(f) The Universal Service Provider shall be eligible to submit the claim for front loaded subsidy at the end of the quarter in which the Rural Household DELs are installed and made functional. The equated annual subsidy where payable shall be disbursed in four quarterly installments during each financial year, with each quarter ending on 30th of June, 30th of September, 31st of December and 31st of March.

(g) Deduction of pro-rata equated annual subsidy on account of telephones remaining faulty for more than seven days in a quarter. In case where the DEL remains faulty for 45 days or more in a quarter, no subsidy for the entire quarter shall be allowed.

(h) Where the Representative Rate for the Equated Annual Subsidy is zero, Rs. 250 (two hundred and fifty) shall be taken as the rate of Equated Annual Subsidy for the purpose of deduction on account of faults.

(i) Initially, the amount of Performance Bank Guarantee shall be Rs. 50 lakhs (Rs. Fifty Lakhs), to be submitted within seven days of issue of letter of intent.

(j) For the 2nd and 3rd year of the Agreement, the amount of PBG shall be equivalent to 25% of the front loaded subsidy payable during the previous year or Rs. 50 Lakhs, whichever is higher. From 4th year onwards and till the validity period of the Agreement, amount of PBG shall be Rs. 50 lakhs (Rs Fifty Lakhs).

(k) For BSNL the requirement for submission of PBG has been waived as long as it is a 100% Government owned Company.

(This agreement has come to an end on 31.03.2010.)

H. SETTING UP AND MANAGING INFRASTRUCTURE SITES AND PROVISION OF MOBILE SERVICES IN SPECIFIED RURAL AND REMOTE AREAS- PHASE-I

The scope of this agreement aims at setting up and managing infrastructure sites and provision of mobile services in specified rural and remote areas and is divided into two parts. Part – A of the Scheme is for setting up and managing infrastructure sites and Part - B for providing mobile services.
Part A – Setting up and managing infrastructure sites

A. General Conditions

The infrastructure provider (IP) shall be solely responsible to set up, operate and maintain infrastructure sites in the specified cluster(s) for the whole period of agreement.

The IP shall provides the following components –

• Land
•Tower
•Electrical connection
•Power backup
•Boundary wall
•Security Cabin


The infrastructure so created shall be owned by the IP and created infrastructure shall be shared by maximum 3 USPs to provide mobile services by installing necessary equipments.

The effective date of this Agreement is 1st June 2007.

The validity of this Agreement is six and half years from the effective date.

The subsidy shall be payable for a maximum period of 5 years within the validity period of Agreement, from the date infrastructure site is commissioned.

The IP shall enter into a service level Agreement (SLA) with the USPs for 5 years period to ensure continued provisioning of services to the rural subscribers and the IP shall not charge any rental from the USPs during this period.

The new tower/infrastructure sites shall not be installed within 3 Km. radius of a tower already installed by any access service provider for providing fixed wireless or mobile services. Self certification to this effect is to be submitted by IP (Vide USO letter no. 30-148/2006-USF Vol. XIII dated 18.07.08)

B. Submission of claims by USPs and settlement thereto

Cluster wise number of infrastructure sites to be created and the representative rate per infrastructure site per annum are given in Section VII `Financial Conditions’ of the Agreement.

The IP shall be eligible to submit the first claim for quarterly subsidy at the end of the quarter in which infrastructure is set up and successfully commissioned. The cluster-wise quarterly subsidy claim shall be submitted in the prescribed formats duly signed by the authorized signatory of the company along with all Attachments/Annexure within 30 days of the end of the quarter.

The quarterly statements of subsidy claims shall be required to be audited by the Auditors of USP and the report of the Auditors to be filed with the Administrator within seven days of the signing of the Audit Report but not later than 30th September of the following year.

The annual subsidy from the USOF shall be disbursed in four quarterly installments during each financial year. Each installment shall be disbursed quarterly in arrears.

Subsidy for a quarter shall be disbursed after making adjustments, if any, for the payments made in the previous quarter.

Final adjustments, if any, in respect of excess or shortage in the subsidy disbursed shall be made in the following year based on the quarterly statements duly certified by the Auditors of the IP.

In case total amount disbursed for a financial year based on quarterly self assessment claims of the IP results in excess payment by more than 10% of the actual subsidy due to him, the entire amount of excess payment shall be recovered along with an interest at the prime lending rate of State Bank of India prevalent on the day the respective disbursement was made
C. Other Conditions
The IP shall be bound by the terms and conditions of the Agreement as well as by such orders/directions/regulations of DOT/TRAI as per provisions of TRAI Act, 1997 as amended from time to time and the instructions as are issued by the Administrator.

The IP Category I shall work within the framework of the Registration Certificate for IPs Category I issued by DoT or,

The IP shall work within the framework of technical conditions of the BSO/CMTS/UASL License Agreement: whichever be applicable.

I. Quality of Service Parameters

The USOF has prescribed quality of service parameter prescribed by TRAI to be adhered to by the service provider for all connections provided as VPTs, RDELs, RCPs so that rural people get services at par with urban connections. The parameters are as under:

(a) The Quality of Service Parameters for Basic Telecommunication Services as prescribed by TRAI shall prevail.

(b) The Universal Service Provider shall ensure the Quality of Service (QoS) as prescribed by the TRAI from time to time. The Universal Service Provider shall adhere to such QoS standards and provide timely information as required therein.

(c) The ADMINISTRATOR or TRAI may carry out performance tests either directly by themselves or through authorized agency and also evaluate the QoS parameters for the RDELs/RCPs/VPTs at any time during the validity period of the AGREEMENT. The Universal Service Provider shall provide ingress and other support including documents, instruments, equipments, equipment etc. for carrying out such performance tests and evaluation of Quality of Service Parameters.

(d) The Universal Service Provider will keep a record of RDELs/RCPs/VPTs indicating faults and rectification reports and other related details in respect of the service rendered, which will be produced before the ADMINISTRATOR or TRAI as and when and in whatever from desired.

(e) The Universal Service Provider shall be responsive to the complaints lodged by its customers. They shall rectify the deficiencies and maintain the history sheets for each installation, statistics and analysis on the overall maintenance status.

(f) Proper arrangement should be made by the USPs for reporting / booking faulty RDEL/RCPs/VPTs and its regular testing. Print out of line tests of RDELs/RCPs/VPTs and record of metered call units (MCUs) should be preserved by the Universal Service Provider for a period of at least six months or till the final settlement of subsidy claimed, whichever is later.