Vodafone India has filed a statement to the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications and the Prime Minister, stating that the company will not be able to recompense the Supreme Court-ordered Rs 53,000-crore AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues if an immediate bailout is not furnished.
The company has been able to pay only 3,500 crore as against 56,709 crore it owes to the government and has made it clear that it requires the government’s assistance including a staggered payment option, reduction in license fee and spectrum charges.
The company has also requested that the government reduce the licence fee on telecom players from 8% to 3%. Also, it said that the spectrum usage charge, which was fixed at 3% in 2016, be brought down to “zero or a uniform rate of 1%” for all spectrum
The government had ordered mobile carriers to immediately pay billions of dollars in dues after the Supreme Court threatened the companies and officials with contempt proceedings for failing to implement an earlier ruling.
“At this point of time, we do not have the financial strength to pay the balance, self-assessed principal, interest, penalty and interest on penalty. In the present financial situation, we would be in a position to do so only if the DoT and the government can kindly take up the steps we are requesting,” Vodafone Idea’s chief regulatory and corporate affairs officer P Balaji said in a letter to the telecom secretary and Prime Minister’s office.
Telecom operator, Vodafone, which has more than 30 crore consumers in India, has been unable to perform in the market predatory pricing and the recent AGR judgment.
Telecom companies have until March 17 to pay AGR-related dues worth Rs 1.47 lakh crore. After Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices have the highest pending dues.