Vodafone Global CEO Nick Read met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad separately on Friday.
Vodafone Global CEO Nick Read has told the government that the company wants to make a new and good beginning in India, according to sources. Read — who met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad separately on Friday — sought government assistance to keep Vodafone Idea afloat, the sources added.
Sources said during his meeting, Prasad made it clear that the government is against a monopoly in the telecom sector, and wants Vodafone Idea to survive and remain invested in India. The sources said the minister conveyed India’s growing economic clout and its attractiveness to foreign investors, as also the enormous size of its market.
The minister pointed out that the company has 30 crore subscribers in India and that the telecom market presents huge opportunities. India wants fair competition, the minister is learnt to have told the Vodafone CEO. Sources said Read also acknowledged that the AGR issue should have been addressed long back by the company.
Relief measures for telecom firms are work in progress, government sources said, adding Vodafone Idea will have to pay at least the principal amount of its AGR dues at the earliest.