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Vodafone chief meets telecom secretary, seeks relief for Voda-Idea

Vodafone Idea, along with Bharti Airtel, has requested the government to defer spectrum payment instalments with a two-year moratorium given the losses that these players are facing

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The immediate priority of the merged entity will be to consolidate its position across the range of service offerings

British major Vodafone Inc top officer Nick Read is learnt to have met Department of Secretary Aruna Sundararajan on Monday to seek relief in spectrum payments of its Indian arm

"The meeting between secretary and Read was held on Monday to discuss relaxation in spectrum payment for Vodafone Idea," a source privy to the development said.

Vodafone Idea, along with Bharti Airtel, has requested the government to defer spectrum payment instalments with a two-year moratorium given the losses that these players are facing.

Vodafone holds 45.1 per cent stake in the combined entity, while Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Aditya Birla Group controls 26 per cent and Idea shareholders own 28.9 per cent.

is required to pay instalment of around Rs 10,000 crore for spectrum that it has acquired in the past five auctions.

ALSO READ: Vodafone Idea board approves plan to raise Rs 25,000 cr via rights issue

Vodafone and Idea have participated in five auctions that were held in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 before merging their mobile business. In five auctions, Vodafone alone had acquired spectrum worth Rs 79,343 crore, which is the highest in terms of value compared to bids made by any other operator. Idea too had purchased spectrum worth Rs 63,597 crore in those auctions.

ALSO READ: Voda Idea seeks 2-year moratorium for paying Rs 10,000 cr spectrum charge

After completion of merger on August 31, 2018, the spectrum payment liability is now on

Vodafone Idea is in process of raising Rs 25,000 crore for investment in business. The British major has committed to contribute Rs 11,000 crore in the fund raising exercise while Aditya Birla Group will contribute Rs 7,250 crore.

First Published: Tue, January 29 2019. 21:55 IST
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