The lenders of Vodafone Idea are finding themselves in more and more trouble with each passing day. With the options running out for the distressed telecom company, now it remains to be seen how the management will tackle the debts that remain in front of it. However, as per the latest reports on the matter, the lenders of Vodafone Idea are asking the centre to extend a payment moratorium for the spectrum payments which Vodafone Idea owes to the centre. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), on the other hand, has been reluctant to provide a moratorium to the telecom company.
Dues Mounting for Vodafone Idea
The company has total dues which run north of Rs 1.5 lakh crore. The largest portion of these dues is constituted by spectrum dues which amount to Rs 96,270 crore. However, the trouble with the spectrum dues of Vodafone Idea is that the timeline provided by the DoT is not favourable for the telco financially. Vodafone Idea has Rs 22,500 crore to be paid between December 2021 and April 2022 to the set of lenders, creditors and AGR and spectrum dues. Also, as per the Mint report on the matter, the telco had term loans of Rs 13,826 crore and guarantees and letters of credit of Rs 23,737 crore on January 7 this year.
Insolvency Not Being Treated as an Option Right Now
A person privy to the matter remarked that currently, the option of insolvency for Vodafone Idea is not on the table yet. As per him, referring Vodafone Idea to the insolvency tribunal is unlikely to yield a good solution. Since the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Proceedings (IBC) which is the main law on the matter, considers the liquidation of assets and the main assets that telco have is the spectrum, the route is not likely to be beneficial. Since the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues are now being fought upon in a Supreme Court case, the spectrum payment is something that the government can ease upon. It remains to be seen how Vodafone Idea pulls itself out of the murky situation that it finds itself in.