Voda Idea: Vodafone Idea will shut shop if there is no government relief: KM Birla

NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Ltd, the India’s third largest mobile service supplier, will shut down if the federal government doesn’t present reduction on the legal responsibility it faces in previous statutory dues following a Supreme Court order, its billionaire chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla stated on Friday.

“If we we aren’t getting something then I believe it’s finish of story for Vodafone Idea,” Birla stated on the HT Leadership Summit when requested about the way forward for Vodafone Idea in absence of a authorities reduction on fee of Rs 53,038 crore dues.

Birla’s Idea Cellular and British telecom large Vodafone plc’s India unit had merged final 12 months to compete with the onslaught of free voice calling and dust low cost knowledge unleashed by richest Indian Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio.

In the method, it accrued Rs 1.17 lakh crore debt and had simply weeks again posted company India’s greatest loss after it provisioned for the legal responsibility arising from the Supreme Court upholding the federal government’s place on what base ought to statutory liabilities be calculated.

“It does not make sense to put good money after bad. That would be end of story for us. We will shut shop,” he stated in a response when requested if Vodafone Idea will put in more cash.

Market chief Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and different telecom gamers should pay as a lot as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in fee of telecom license payment and spectrum utilization cost along with curiosity and penalty for previous 14 years.

Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea have petitioned the federal government for reduction in waiver of curiosity and penalty, which can halve the dues, and in addition filed a evaluate petition within the Supreme Court.

Birla was nonetheless hopeful of a reduction from the federal government not only for the telecom sector however the trade as a complete to tug out the economic system from a six-year low GDP development of 4.5 per cent.

“They (the government) have realised the fact that this (telecom) is a very critical sector. The whole digital india programme rests on this. This is a strategic sector,” he stated.

The authorities, he stated, has publicly said that it needs three gamers from the non-public sector and one participant from the general public sector.

“I think that we can expect much more stimulus from the government because it is required for the sector to survive. If we weren’t getting anything then I think it is end of story for Vodafone Idea,” he stated.

The authorities had late final month deferred by two years the fee on account of telecom firms for spectrum they purchased in previous auctions. This reduction totalled Rs 44,000 crore for the trade however firms are anticipated to pay this due along with curiosity after the 2 12 months moratorium.

Asked in regards to the particular reduction sought, Birla stated, “The large elephant within the room is AGR. Which is definitely I believe one thing which lies within the courtroom of judiciary. I imagine authorities can have a dialogue. This was a go well with filed by the federal government towards telecom service suppliers.”

AGR refers to adjusted gross revenues, a share of which the telecom firms pay as statutory dues. The Supreme Court had upheld the federal government place that non-telecom revenues should be included within the AGR for calculating dues.

“Since the government has won, it gives them headroom to talk to judiciary and try to find some of solution. I don’t know which form or shape it takes,” he added.

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