Vodafone Idea (Vi) has made a written request to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for deferring license fees (LF) and spectrum usage charges (SUC) for the second, third, and fourth quarters for this fiscal year. The total dues for the telco regarding the same would come around Rs 6,000 crore. According to an ET Telecom report, the telco said that it wouldn’t be able to pay the concerned dues on time and hence is looking for more time.
Vodafone Idea Will Pay the Complete Dues Together
Vodafone Idea said that it will clear its Rs 6,000 crore worth of due against LF and SUC completely in April-May 2022. The telco said that if there are any penalties imposed, it will clear them as well.
DoT is yet to take a call on the issue. The telecom department is kind of surprised that Vodafone Idea wants deferment. Even after several relief measures were announced for the sector, which has reduced the burden on Vi's cash outflow severely, the telco is asking for another help.
According to the publication’s report, a government official said that the moratorium on payments of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and spectrum dues only applies to the retrospective dues confirmed by the Supreme Court. The official further said that if a telco is currently using spectrum, then it is liable to pay LF and SUC.
For the unaware, the LF and SUC are paid on the basis of AGR. Vodafone Idea typically pays around Rs 2,000 crore every quarter for clearing LF and SUC dues. The amount is not fixed and keeps fluctuating depending on the AGR.
The telco is already in talks with investors for raising additional funds, and there are reports suggesting that its promoters, including Kumar Mangalam Birla and Vodafone Group, are going to infuse additional capital as well. Thus it is a little surprising for the DoT officials that Vi is currently asking for more help in terms of clearing dues.