Vodafone-Idea will close business if it doesn’t get relief from government, says KM Birla

Vodafone Idea Ltd may have to stop its operations if the company does not receive any relief from the government following the Supreme Court order to pay dues of Rs 92,000 crore to the government related to the AGR issue, chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has said.

If we are not getting anything, then I think it is the end of story for Vodafone Idea, the company’s chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla told HT.

“They have realised the fact that this is a very critical sector, the whole digital India program rests on this, and it is a strategic sector. They have publicly stated that they want three players from the private sector and one player from the public sector, so I think we can expect much more stimulus from the government because it is required by the sector to survive,” he added.

While the financial situation of the current telecom sector in India is going through challenging times, payment of Rs 40,000 crore to the government by January 24, 2020 is a big worry for Vodafone.

Vodafone has demanded a two-year extension on spectrum payments and lower license fees and taxes from the Indian government. The company also wants that its spectrum payments asked by the court to be spread over 10 years and has requested to wave off the interest and penalties.

The tensions at Vodafone came into light after the rumours of its exit from India started doing rounds on the web. The Vodafone Group in the UK, on October 30, released a press statement calling the rumours baseless and said that its India venture was going through challenging times but the company has no intentions to exit.