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New Delhi, February 18, 2020
With the government mulling the possibilities of invoking bank guarantees of the telcos to recover statutory dues, Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla on Tuesday met Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash on the AGR payment issue after paying Rs 2,500 crore on Monday.
The details of the discussions are not known as neither side spoke about it, but sources said Birla has raised the ability on sustainability of Vodafone Idea again with DoT in view of the immediate large-scale payments dues on AGR without any relief and also sought non-invocation of bank guarantee.
According to DoT calculations Vodafone Idea owes Rs 53,000 crore. The company is currently self assessing the DoT demand. The company has said it would pay another Rs 1,000 crore this week. On Monday, Supreme Court refused to accept telecom firm Vodafone Idea's proposal to pay Rs 2,500 crore by Tuesday and Rs 1,000 crore by Friday against adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues and that no coercive action be taken against it.
The company had urged the court that the bank guarantee deposited with the government by Vodafone Idea should also not be encashed. Birla has maintained that without relief on the AGR payout, it may not be possible to continue as a going concern.
Tata Teleservices, which had sold its mobile business to Airtel, has made a payment of Rs 2,197 crore to the government against estimated dues of around Rs 14,000 crore. But there are reports of Tatas having made the full and final payment. The government has so far got Rs 14,892 crore in AGR dues from telecom companies.