Vodafone Idea on Monday said it has paid Rs 3,354 crore to the department of telecommunications (DoT) as part payment of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.
In its self-assessment of AGR liabilities, submitted to DoT, Vodafone Idea said the corporate owes Rs 6,854 crore as the principal amount from FY07 to FY19.
The company had earlier paid a sum of Rs 2,500 crore on February 17, and a further Rs 1,000 crore on February 20 towards this liability.
Vodafone had earlier made a powerful plea for setting off Rs 8,000 crore of products and services tax (GST) credit.
It also sought a three-year moratorium on payment of the remaining amount (which should be staggered over 15 years at a simple rate of interest of 6 percent), a drastic cut in license fee and fixing of a minimum price for calls and data.
The company is desperately seeking relief. this may be gauged from the actual fact that Vodafone Group chief executive officer (CEO) Nick Read met the minister of finance Nirmala Sitharaman and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during his short trip to India earlier this month.
While Read offered “no-comments” after his meeting with Prasad, sources at DoT indicated that the corporate was “positive” about its stay in India.
A top DoT official had also said, “We want Vodafone Idea to remain invested in India. this is because, after the digital push by the govt, there’s an enormous business opportunity in India.
But there’s a requirement for the corporate to upgrade technology.”
Vodafone PLC holds a 45 percent stake in Vodafone Idea, while Idea holds a bit over 25 percent and remaining shareholding is public.
In December, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Vodafone Idea, had said it’s going to need to shut if there’s no relief on statutory dues. “If we aren’t getting anything, then I feel it’s the end of the story for Vodafone Idea,” Birla had said. “It doesn’t make sense to place good money. we’ll shut shop,” he had added.
On February 14, the Supreme Court rejected a plea by companies like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea for extension in the payment schedule. It asked all of them to deposit an estimated Rs 1.47 trillion in past dues for spectrum and licenses. It threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against top executives of these firms for non-payment.
In all, as many as 15 entities owe the govt Rs 1.47 trillion — Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid license fee and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.
Last October, the Supreme Court had upheld the government’s definition of AGR, by which it calculates levies on telecom operators