Vodafone Idea Will Close If Government Does Not Provide Any Relief, Says KM Birla

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Indian billionaire industrialist KM Birla has said that Vodafone Idea will close its operations in India if the government does not provide any relief.

Written By Tech Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:
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Vodafone Idea will close its operations in India if the government does not provide any relief, its chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said on Friday. Birla's statement raises doubts about Vodafone's future in India without AGR relief.

"We will have to shut shop," Birla said on a query about the course of action for the company going ahead in the absence of government relief.

Birla indicated that his group will not invest any money in the company in the absence of relief from the government.

"There is no sense that good money should follow bad money," he said.

Birla said the company will have to opt for insolvency route in the absence of relief

Last month, Vodafone CEO Nick Read had raised similar concerns hinting that the mounting debt on Vodafone Idea could result in the company's untimely exit from the India market. Read had said that the government needs to ease off on payment demands to ensure a future for Vodafone-Idea Ltd.

The Supreme Court of India upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of telecom companies, a share of which has to be paid as license and spectrum fee to the exchequer.

Vodafone Idea had said its ability to continue is dependent on obtaining relief from the government and positive outcome of the proposed legal remedy.

The company is also in the process of filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order. The joint-venture estimated liability of Rs 44,150 crore post the apex court order and made a provision of Rs 25,680 crore in Q2 2019.

Days after posting a quarterly loss of Rs 50,921 crore amid concerns on its survival, Vodafone-India recently hiked its tariff rates by up to 50%.

(With PTI inputs)

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