The financial health of India’s number three phone operator — Vodafone Idea Ltd — is a concern for its lenders after the Supreme Court last month rejected its petition to reassess back dues to the government.
August 16, 2021 / 10:14 PM IST
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Amid expectations that the government might find a solution to prevent the collapse of Vodafone Idea Ltd, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said a “lot of officials” were talking to each other but nothing has come to her. The financial health of India’s number three phone operator is a concern for its lenders after the Supreme Court last month rejected its petition to reassess back dues to the government.
“Lots of officials are talking to each other… (but) nothing has come to me,” Sitharaman told reporters here. She did not mention whether the talks were between government officials or the lenders were talking to Vodafone Idea.
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Vodafone Idea, which is struggling to stay afloat, has deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1,06,010 crore and Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) liability of Rs 62,180 crore that are due to the government. Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, who recently stepped down as chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd, had previously sought government support and had also offered to give up his stake in the telecom operator.
Vodafone Idea has continuously made annual losses after March 2016 since the entry of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio that year. Jio debuted with ultra-low prices, forcing rivals to quit, merge or go bankrupt.