Vodafone Idea said that it will file a curative petition if its review petition seeking a correction in the calculation of statutory payment arrears is rejected. Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar, during the company’s Q1 earnings call said, “If somehow this review petition gets rejected, then we do have the ability to file a curative petition, which goes in front of a slightly different bench and we can make that case. I hope it doesn't have to come to that, but if we have to take that step, then certainly we intend to do so.”
Takkar said that there is no reason why anyone should face this type of situation where they are asked to pay many times over for something that they have already paid for. “So, I am very hopeful that in this review petition, we can explain to the court, because their point earlier was that somehow we are challenging the original verdict that is not our intent. Hopefully, that clarity can be provided," Takkar told analysts.
Takkar said the review petition filed after the Supreme Court dismissed its plea for rectification of the alleged errors in the calculation of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related dues is not intended to challenge the AGR definition or relitigate that matter. The company's plea is that the telecom department should be allowed to fix the arithmetic errors that have crept in.
The CEO also said that it is important to fix tariff hikes and floor price and that there is no way the industry can improve its health till these stresses are fixed. He said ARPU (average revenue per user) improvement is imperative for the industry to survive and remain healthy, and noted that floor pricing "is the best way to do that".
Takkar added that the floor pricing need not be a long term measure. "It doesn't have to be a permanent thing. It can be done in an interim manner for a couple of years, and it can be looked at... if the health becomes good and there is a disciple in the industry, there is no reason why floor pricing cannot be taken off at that point," he added.
Takkar said that the VIL family is passing through a difficult phase and believes that the government recognises the criticality of the sector. "As the industry continues to remain under unsustainable financial duress, we remain hopeful that the Government will provide the necessary support to address structural issues faced by the sector, and can enable operators to generate returns on their investment," he said.
The total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) as of June 30, 2021, of VIL, stood at Rs 1,91,590 crore, comprising deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1,06,010 crore and AGR liability of Rs 62,180 crore that are due to the government.
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