Vodafone Group top brass meets telecom secretary, seeks 2-year moratorium on spectrum payment

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Updated: October 1, 2019 7:08:12 AM

The company has the highest liability in terms of deferred spectrum payments.

The telecom industry has also been asking for lowering of levies on the sector, which currently constitute about 30% of its overall revenues

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read on Monday said the group is focussed on “successful integration” of Vodafone Idea in India as he, along with the group’s chairman Gerard Kleisterlee, met telecom secretary Anshu Prakash, reportedly seeking relief measures, including a two-year moratorium on deferred spectrum payments. Sources said the the two executives also met commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal during the day.

Although Read and Kleisterlee did not answer queries regarding the meeting with Prakash but sources said it was around the relief measures which the company has been seeking for the past some time. The department of telecommunications (DoT) has so far not entertained their plea regarding two-year moratorium for spectrum payments.

Among all the operators, the financial condition of Vodafone Idea is the worst. The company has the highest liability in terms of deferred spectrum payments.

Asked if the company is considering exiting the Indian market, Read said the company is focussed on successful integration of network of Vodafone Idea.

It must be mentioned that Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, who’s also the chairman of Vodafone Idea, along with newly appointed CEO of Vodafone Idea Ravinder Takker, had recently met telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in order to seek some relief for the sector.

The telecom industry has also been asking for lowering of levies on the sector, which currently constitute about 30% of its overall revenues. Prasad, on his part, has written twice to the finance ministry to reduce the financial burden on the telecom industry.

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