Vodafone Group’s global CEO, Nick Read, has sought a meeting with telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on March 6. The meeting request was sent on February 28 but so far the minister’s office has not reverted with any confirmation, sources told FE.
Vodafone Plc, which is present in India through its joint venture, Vodafone Idea is currently battling to pay its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues totalling Rs 53,039 crore. The company, which has so far made payments of only Rs 3,500 crore has said that it is not in a position to pay any more and its viability depends on some relief measures by the government.
In the past, Read as well as the chairman of Vodafone Idea, Kumar Mangalam Birla, have said that they are not going to infuse any more equity in the firm.
“VIL has recently made payment of Rs 3,500 crore towards part payment of self-assessed principal (excluding interest and penalty) dues emerging from the AGR issue.
At this point, we do not have the financial strength to pay the balance, self-assessed principal, interest, penalty and interest on penalty,” Vodafone Idea has said in its communication to the department of telecommunications.
Apart from AGR dues of Rs 53,039 crore, Vodafone Idea needs to pay around Rs 1,57,750 crore by way of deferred spectrum installments to the government till 2031, and Rs 5,712 crore as one time spectrum charge (under litigation). The company’s total exposure to banks is of Rs 49,466.43 crore.