NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited promoters said that the telecom relief measures announced by the Indian government will ensure “healthy growth” of the industry and will go a long way in unshackling the telecom sector.
“The pathbreaking reforms announced by the government today will go a long way in unshackling the telecom sector. These reforms demonstrate the government’s firm commitment to ensuring healthy growth of the industry.” Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group said in a joint statement.
“These reforms will bring alive the digital aspirations of 1.3 billion people and accelerate India’s journey to be a digitally powered economy.” Birla added.
Out of three telcos, Vodafone Idea needed immediate relief to sustain operations. Vi is reeling under a huge debt of 1.8 lakh crore, out of which a staggering 1.5 lakh crore has to be paid to the government. Deferred spectrum dues stand at Rs 96,270 crore, AGR dues at Rs 58,400 crore, and a bank debt of Rs 23,080 crore. The company has been unable to raise funds to overcome the crisis and is losing its customer base rapidly.
“We commend the resolve shown by the Government of India, under PM Modi’s Leadership, to find a comprehensive solution that would support a competitive and sustainable telecom sector in India”, said Nick Read, CEO, Vodafone Group.
“Although the sector has struggled for many years, we expect that the Government’sconstructive initiative announced today – along with the continued strong support of theTelecom Minister and Finance Minister – will be the beginning of a new era for India’s Digital ambitions and for VI’s continued contribution to creating an inclusive and sustainable digital society to the benefit of all citizens”, added Nick Read.