New Delhi: Vodafone on Wednesday said the outlook for its India telecom joint venture Vodafone Idea remained “critical” and it was seeking relief from the government to pay the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues over a longer period. Also Read - CAA Stir: Vodafone Idea Suspends Mobile Services For 24 Hours Upon Government Order
“In October, the Supreme Court gave an adverse judgment in the AGR case against the industry. The outlook for Vodafone Idea (VIL) remains critical. VIL is seeking relief from the Indian government to ensure that the rate and level of payments it makes to the government is sustainable and it can meet its other commitments as they fall due,” the London-based telecom major said. Also Read - CAA Stir: Airtel, Vodafone, Jio Suspend Mobile Services, Say 'As Per Government Instruction'
In November, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) granted a two-year spectrum moratorium. In January the Supreme Court rejected the review petition filed by VIL and others over the AGR judgment.
Both VIL and Bharti Airtel later filed modification petitions, expected to be heard soon, requesting the court to order the DoT to determine a payment schedule for AGR dues and other relief.
Vodafone Idea needs to pay over Rs 53,000 crore as licence fee, spectrum usage charge, interest and penalty dues to the DoT after the October SC order, which widened the definition of AGR to include non-core items.
This left 15 telcos, including Vodafone Idea, with over Rs 1.47 lakh crore dues. Tata Teleservices has also filed a modification petition in the Supreme Court, seeking space to discuss with the DoT modalities and timeline for payments.
The telcos are hoping that they will be allowed to spread the payment over several years, thus softening the blow.