Banks call on government to ease pressure on debt-laden Vodafone Idea



Banks call on government to ease pressure on debt-laden Vo

Banks led by depository financial institution of India (SBI) have called on the Indian government to offer debt-laden Vodafone Idea longer to clear its tax dues and spectrum fees, two bankers and a government official conversant in the matter said.

An Indian court last year ordered the mobile carrier, a venture between the Indian unit of Britain’s Vodafone Group and Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular, to pay just over $8 billion to the govt to settle long-standing dues. Vodafone features a stake of about 44 percent within the company and Aditya Birla owns nearly 27 percent.

In June, Vodafone Idea’s then non-executive chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla warned that without a government reprieve the Indian mobile carrier’s “financial situation will drive its operations to an irretrievable point of collapse”.

Vodafone Idea’s gross debt as of June 30 was 1.9 trillion rupees, comprising of deferred spectrum payment obligations of 1.06 trillion rupees and an adjusted gross sales liability of 621.8 billion rupees, its latest stock market filing in June showed.

The adjusted gross sales is that the usage and license fee that telecom operators are charged by the Indian government


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