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AGR dues: Govt considering Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea requests for relief

India has formed a panel of bureaucrats to suggest ways to alleviate financial pressures on the telecom sector

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

Vodafone
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India is considering requests for financial relief from mobile carriers Vodafone Idea Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd, the finance minister said on Friday.

Bharti and Vodafone Idea are due to pay the bulk of Rs 920 billion ($13 billion) in overdue levies and interest owed by telecoms firms to the state, after India's Supreme Court last month upheld a demand by the telecoms department.

Both companies reported combined losses amounting to more than $10 billion on Thursday, after making provisions for the dues owed to the government. They have also asked the government for relief from the charge. Relief measures could include a waiver or deferred payment terms.

New Delhi is not rushing to account for the money it will receive from telecom operators after the Supreme Court ruling, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters on Friday, adding the government was yet to take a final decision on companies' requests.

India has formed a panel of bureaucrats to suggest ways to alleviate financial pressures on the telecom sector which once comprised more than a dozen carriers but is now left with three major private players.

First Published: Fri, November 15 2019. 20:14 IST
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