Outlook for Vodafone-Idea is critical, says Vodafone Group CEO

By: |
February 5, 2020 5:01 PM

Discussing the third quarterly performance of the company, Nick Read, Vodafone Group CEO in a press note said that the outlook for Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) is critical.

vodafone, great britainCrisil and India Ratings & Research have downgraded non-convertible debentures of Vodafone Idea worth Rs 3,500 crore.

Discussing the third quarterly performance of the company, Nick Read, Vodafone Group CEO in a press note said that the outlook for Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) is critical. “In October, the Supreme Court gave an adverse judgement in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case against the industry. VIL is actively seeking various forms of relief from the Indian Government,” said Nick Read. According to him, the company is trying to ensure that the rate and level of payments it makes to the Indian Government is sustainable and it can meet its other commitments as they fall due. In November, the Department of Telecommunications granted a two-year spectrum moratorium to the industry. 

Last month, the Supreme Court rejected the review petition filed by VIL and other industry participants in relation to the AGR judgement. Nick Read further said that both VIL and Bharti Airtel have subsequently filed modification petitions, which are expected to be heard imminently, to request the Court to order the telecom department to determine a payment schedule in relation to AGR dues and other reliefs. As the Supreme Court refused to grant any relief to the telecom operator, two rating agencies- Crisil and India Ratings & Research have downgraded non-convertible debentures of Vodafone Idea worth Rs 3,500 crore. 

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Tata Teleservices had jointly filed a modification application in the Supreme Court seeking more time to pay statutory dues. The last date set by the supreme court was January 23. Vodafone Idea, which is staring at unpaid statutory dues of Rs 53,038 crore, including Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee, has already warned of shutdown if no relief is given. Moreover, according to a recent statement by economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty, the government has not accounted for AGR dues payment in telecom receipts either for the current fiscal or the next.  

Meanwhile, on the global front, Vodafone reported organic service revenue growth of 0.8 per cent in Q3FY20 on the back of a continued recovery in its South Africa operations. 

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