Aditya Birla Group (ABG) chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla met the Union Minister of Telecom Ashwini Vaishnav on Wednesday and discussed the need for urgent government intervention in the telecom sector.
As per sources, the meeting saw a discussion on the health of the sector.
This meeting happened about a month after Birla stepped down as chairman of cash-strapped telecom carrier Vodafone Idea.
It's vital to note here that Vodafone Global Head Nick Read is also in India.
According to sources, the government is considering demands for relief measures that won’t be company-specific, but for the entire sector.
Earlier, Birla had written to the government that he is ready to “hand over stake” in Vodafone-Idea (Vi) to a government entity.
Birla said, in a June 7 letter to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, that with a "sense of duty" towards 27 crore Indians connected with Vodafone Idea, he is willing to hand over his stake to the Public Sector Unit (PSU), a government entity or any domestic financial entity, or any other entity that the government may consider worthy of keeping the company as a going concern.
He had also stated that VI’s operations will be at an "irretrievable point of collapse" if it did not receive immediate and active support from the government.
Further, Vodafone Idea filed a petition on August 10 to review the top court’s July 23 order of not allowing correction of alleged mistakes in the telecom department’s AGR calculations. Vi said it had no intention to “wriggle out” from paying its AGR dues as per the order. But if arithmetical errors were not rectified, they would have to shut shop. That would hurt around 280 million subscribers, nearly 20,000 direct and indirect employees, retailers, banks, and the government.