Supreme Court of India had postponed the hearing of AGR issue till June 18. The apex body asked all the telco giants such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio to submit an affidavit that will reveal the blueprint in which telcos will clear off their AGR dues. However, Vodafone Idea who is the most affected telco addressed the Supreme Court and stated that it could not file an affidavit in three or four days as the amount of AGR dues is massive. Since the Supreme Court has asked all the telecom operators to clear AGR dues as per DoT estimates, all the telcos especially Vodafone Idea has been facing substantial financial distress.
Vodafone Idea Cannot Secure Bank Guarantees in the Current Period
As reported by ET Telecom, Vodafone Idea’s counsel addressed the apex legal body and stated that in the current situation, Vodafone Idea could not secure bank guarantees which are worth Rs 50,000 crore. Mukul Rohatgi who represented Vodafone Idea also stated that License and Spectrum were separately auctioned and the telco has purchased them for thousands of crores. So, an inbred value of the spectrum will be the best security. Telco giants Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications were represented by renowned lawyers.
Vodafone Idea is Facing Massive Financial Distress
Mukul Rohatgi, who represented Vodafone Idea in the court stated that the telco is under the huge financial burden and it does not have enough money to meet its operating expenses and pay employees salary. Also, Vodafone Idea cannot give bank guarantees at this moment. As the supreme court has rejected the self-estimated AGR dues by telcos and asked them to clear AGR dues as per DoT estimates, the financial burden on telecom operators, especially Vodafone Idea, have increased. As per DoT estimates, Vodafone Idea has to pay a whopping amount of Rs 53,000 crore towards AGR dues. The amount also includes interests and penalties for non-payment of statutory dues. Even though Vodafone Idea received Rs 1,530 crore from Vodafone Group, the telco is still under financial distress. However, Vodafone Idea has been doing its best to offer uninterrupted telecom services and offer to its subscribers. Recently, the telco giant has distributed its telecom circles into 10 clusters for better operational efficiency.