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Vodafone CEO Nick Read meets FM Sitharaman amid AGR crisis

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Reed met with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ahead of AGR hearing in Supreme Court on March 17

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | March 6, 2020 | Updated 20:00 IST
Vodafone CEO Nick Read meets FM Sitharaman amid AGR crisis
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Reed with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Vodafone CEO Nick Read met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today to discuss about the payment of AGR dues. His visit comes just ahead of the final hearing on the AGR issue in the Supreme Court on March 17.

Vodafone-Idea Limited (VIL) paid Rs 3,500 crore last month from a total AGR dues of Rs 53,000.

The group had earlier said that without a relief package, the company won't be able to pay the complete amount by the March 17 deadline.

Read had earlier said that it had decided not to put any more equity into the Indian business at it may be heading for liquidity and contributed zero value to the company's share price.

Last month, Vodafone Idea had written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and Department of Telecom asking them for a 7-8 times hike in mobile data tariffs and 6 paise per minute to be able to pay its AGR dues.

In December too, Telecom companies had increased charges by 50%.

Vodafone had earlier stated that it would need 15 years to pay the pending AGR dues worth Rs 53,000 crore. Vodafone Idea that pays 8 per cent AGR as licence fee urged DoT to reduce it to 3 per cent. Vodafone Idea said that its self-assessment on pending dues stood at Rs 21,533 crore, contrary to the Department of Telecom's demand of Rs 53,500 crore. The company said the amount includes Rs 6,854 crore worth of principal amount up to FY19 and interest up to February 2020.

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