Vodafone Wants To Make A New, Good Start In India, CEO Nick Read Tells Government
Nick Read, chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc, gestures as he speaks during a keynote session on the opening day of the MWC Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 25, 2019. (Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg)

Vodafone Wants To Make A New, Good Start In India, CEO Nick Read Tells Government

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Vodafone Group Plc’s Chief Executive Officer Nick Read has told the government that the company wants to make a new and good beginning in India, sources said Friday.

Read, who met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad separately on Friday, sought government assistance to keep Vodafone Idea afloat, sources said.

Prasad, during the meeting, made it clear that the government is against a monopoly in the telecom sector, and wants Vodafone Idea to survive and remain invested in India, sources said.

The minister pointed out that the company has 30 crore subscribers in India and that the telecom market presents huge opportunities. India wants fair competition, the minister is learnt to have told the Vodafone CEO. Read acknowledged that the AGR dues issue should've been addressed long back by the company.

Relief measures for telecom firms are work in progress, sources said, adding Vodafone Idea will have to pay at least the principal amount of its AGR dues at the earliest.

Also read: India Considers Offering Loans for Telecoms Owing $13 Billion in Past Dues

Vodafone Idea Self Assesses AGR Dues At Less Than Half Of DoT Demand

Vodafone Idea has self assessed its adjusted gross revenue liabilities at less than half of the government’s estimate.

The self-assessment disclosed the company’s AGR dues at Rs 21,533 crore, including a principal amount of Rs 6,854 crore from the 2006-07 to 2018-19 and interest up to February 2020, the telecom operator said in an exchange filing on Friday.

The firm has filed the self assessment with the Department of Telecommunications.

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