Vodafone gasping.

Vodafone gasping.

Birla meets Telecom Secy as Voda Idea stares at over Rs 53,000 cr dues

Without relief on payout, it may not be possible for Vodafone to continue

Agency Report | New Delhi | 18 February, 2020 | 11:20 PM

Amid talks of the government mulling encashing of bank guarantee over default in payment of dues, Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla s Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash as he looks for options to keep the company afloat. After the meeting, Birla says he "cannot say anything at the moment."

With the government mulling the possibilities of invoking bank guarantees of the telcos to recover the statutory dues, Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla on Tuesday met Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash on the AGR payment issue after paying Rs 2,500 crore on Monday.

The details are not known as none of the sides — government or VIL spoke about it, but sources said Birla has raised the ability on sustainability of Vodafone Idea again with DoT in view of the immediate large-scale payments dues on AGR without any relief and also sought non-invokation of bank guarantee.

According to DoT calculations Vodafone Idea owes Rs 53,000 crore. The company is currently self assessing the DoT demand. The company has said it would pay another Rs 1,000 crore this week. On Monday, Supreme Court refused to accept telecom firm Vodafone Idea’s proposal to pay Rs 2,500 crore by Tuesday and Rs 1,000 crore by Friday against adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues and that no coercive action be taken against it.

The company had urged the court that the bank guarantee deposited with the government by Vodafone Idea should also not be encashed. Birla has maintained that without relief on the AGR payout, it may not be possible to continue as a going concern.

Tata Teleservices, which had sold its mobile business to Airtel, has made a payment of Rs 2,197 crore to the government against estimated dues of around Rs 14,000 crore. But there are reports of Tatas having made the full and final payment. The government has so far got Rs 14,892 crore in AGR dues from telecom companies. (IANS)