UK-based Vodafone Group Plc on Wednesday said that for Vodafone Idea Ltd, a telecom magnate, and its joint venture with the Aditya Birla group in India, remains critical and the company is seeking relief from the Indian government.
“In October 2019, the Supreme Court gave a negative judgement in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case against the industry. The outlook for Vodafone Idea remains critical,” Vodafone Group said in a statement announcing its December quarter earnings on Wednesday.
The group further claimed that “The Company is actively seeking various forms of relief from the Indian government to ensure that the means of payments it makes to the Indian government is sustainable, and it can meet its other commitments as they fall due.”
The 24 October court order that ended a 14-year legal battle between telcos, and the department of telecommunications (DoT), the Supreme Court rejected a plea by mobile phone operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea seeking a review of its previous declaring; where they must pay overdue levies, and interest of almost $13 billion.
India’s top wireless carriers were charged to clear ₹1 trillion in dues, straining their already precarious financial situation. While the telcos, after calculated AGR, says that the AGR related-dues refers only to revenues from telecom, DoT insisted that it includes all revenues.
Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices have sought more time to pay AGR-related dues, and also last month filed a modification plea in the Supreme Court.
The modification plea wants to negotiate a sustainable payment schedule with the DoT, the same firm that issued demand notices to the firm.
Bharti Airtel’s petition asked for more time to calculate dues across its 22 telecom circles over the last 15 years, which is a detailed and time-consuming process.
Vodafone Idea, in the meanwhile, commented about its insufficiency of resources to pay such huge amounts.
The modification pleas are most likely to be heard by next week in the court.