Vodafone Plc global Chief Executive Officer Nick Read, who's likely to visit India this week, has sought a meeting with Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Read is coming to India in wake of its India unit along with Idea Cellular facing a major crisis in terms of pending AGR dues worth Rs 53,000 crore to the government.
The government, however, had not confirmed the meeting so far, Mint reported.
The telco, which employees over 13,000 direct employees, has already warned that continuous pressure to pay the amount could render 10,000 people jobless and create chaos among its 300 million subscribers in India.
The telco recently wrote a letter to the government asking for adjustment of Rs 8,000 crore of Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund towards AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues. Besides, the telco has requested deferment of the AGR payment schedule. Vodafone Idea is also batting for reducing license fee from existing 8 per cent to 3 per cent, and spectrum usage charges (SUC) from about 3 per cent currently to 1 per cent.
Pegging its AGR dues at Rs 23,000 crore against DoT's estimate of Rs 53,000 crore, the telco also suggested other measures like fixing 'floor price' for data and call charges.
So far, Vodafone Idea has paid only Rs 3,500 crore worth of pending dues. Telecom companies owe Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the DoT, including Rs 92,600 crore as licence fee and Rs 55,100 crore as spectrum usage charges. Its rival company Bharti Airtel owes Rs 35,600 crore. Bharti Airtel and Tata Group have also made AGR payments worth Rs 18,004 crore and Rs 2,197 crore to the DOT, respectively.
Edited by Manoj Sharma
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