Saturday, 28 March, 2020


Vodafone Idea plunges 24% post SC dismisses review petition

AGR dues Who hurts if Vodafone Idea goes down Vodafone Idea is looking at an AGR outgo of RS 53,000 crore
Conrad Doyle | 15 February, 2020, 18:44

India's Supreme Court slammed mobile carriers on Friday for non-payment of billions of dollars in government dues and threatened them with contempt proceedings if they didn't pay up by March 17. The top court said a desk officer has been writing a letter to Attorney General KK Venugopal and other constitutional authorities, saying they should not insist on payment of money by telecom companies and others and to ensure that no coercive action is taken against them. The top court warned that this officer was liable to a jail term if that order was not withdrawn within an hour. Have you taken any action against him?

The bench has ordered the managing directors of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, MTNL, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Telecommunication and others to be present in the court on March 17.

"We will have to shut shop", Birla said on a query about the course of action for the company going ahead in the absence of government relief.

Last year, the apex court found the operators guilty of underreporting their revenues and asked them to cough up the huge amount of money. They can stay the order? The news comes after the Supreme Court, on Friday (February 14), pulled up Vodafone Idea for failing to clear the dues.

In the Supreme Court, Justice Mishra said: "We wonder what is happening in this country".

"It is directed to take immediate necessary action in compliance with the judgement dated October 24, 2019 of the Supreme Court", said the fresh order issued by the DoT.

The Supreme Court's refusal on Friday to grant any more time, even going at one point to remark that a sizeable amount of the dues should be paid immediately, leaves very few options left for Vodafone-Idea.

Vodafone Idea is the worst off with its dues assessed at Rs 53,039 crore that includes Rs 24,729 crore in spectrum dues and Rs 28,309 crore in licence fees.

Weeks after the deadline for the spectrum dues payment has passed, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea have been chasing various legal routes, like review petitions and curative petitions. These petitions were withdrawn after the apex court ruled that they could represent their case at appropriate forums.

"As directed by DoT, the company is undertaking a self-assessment exercise for computation of liability as per the AGR judgment", Vodafone Idea said in a presentation.

The telecom companies have been carrying out a self-assessment process to assess their liabilities.

The precipitate order issued by DoT may render the self-assessment exercise irrelevant.

".further to our letter dated February 11, 2020 on results conference call scheduled for February 14, 2020". The ruling which allows non-telecom revenues as well, landed Airtel and Vodafone Idea with a bill of ₹35,000 crore and ₹53,000 crore respectively - including interest and penalty.

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