A recent report in The Economic Times suggests that government may consider converting part of the Vodafone-Idea’s pending dues for a stake. The move is aimed at instilling investor confidence in the beleaguered telecom operator. The source added that government may keep the option of converting the remaining dues into equity after four years.
Vodafone-Idea has to pay the government about Rs 50,399.63 crore in statutory dues dating back over past many years.
The source told the newspaper that Government is "not interested in running the company's operations". The idea here is to ensure that the telecom market does not become a fortress of tripartite ownership. Birla had offered his stake in the Vodafone-Idea combine to the Government or any company approved by them, earlier in August this year.
Moratorium: A Possibility
It was suggested that the Government might consider rolling out a moratorium on payment of spectrum dues by telecom firms.
This, alongside reforms such as granting moratorium on unpaid dues, redefining AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) prospectively and cutting Spectrum Usage Charges.
Vodafone-Idea’s total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) stood at Rs 1,91,590 crore, comprising of deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1,06,010 crore and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability of Rs 62,180 crore due to the Government as of June 30, 2021.