Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has 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, Birla 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.
Birla 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.
Seeking clarity in regard to various matters including adjusted gross revenue (AGR), an adequate moratorium on spectrum dues and floor pricing Birla said that VIL has been trying to raise Rs 25,000 crore to sustain VIL operations and pay regulatory and governmental dues. He said that foreign investors wanted to see a clear government intent to have a three-player telecom market.
Vodafone Idea has been in focus after the Supreme Court of India rejected Bharti Airtel and their claim of computation errors in Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)-related dues to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
The total demand from Vodafone India is Rs 58,254 crore. Out of this, the company has paid Rs 7,854 crore and according to its self-assessment only owes Rs 21,533 crore to the government.
The company is in the process of drafting and filing a review petition in the Supreme Court in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case, sources have informed CNBC-TV18.
The key takeaway from the letter is that Birla has sought relief on three counts, clarity on AGR dues, floor pricing and a moratorium on spectrum dues.
Watch CNBC-TV18’s Ashmit Kumar's video for more details