Canindia News

Voda CEO meets Sithraman, will meet Prasad later

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Nick Reed, CEO of the Vodafone Group, on Friday called on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accompanied by Vodafone Idea MD Ravinder Takkar.

Later in the day, he will also meet Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

His India visit comes ahead of final hearing of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) issue at the Supreme Court slated for March 17.

VIL has the maximum AGR dues of Rs 53,000 crore, of which it paid Rs 3,500 crore last month.

Recently, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has sent letters to all telcos asking them to submit remaining part of the dues ahead of the apex court hearing.

VIL has said it won’t be able to meet the dues unless relief is given.

The company has written letter to TRAI for a significant hike of mobile data tariff and call charges at 6 paise per minute to be able to improve its balance sheet and pay its AGR dues.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of VIL, has said that without government relief his company may be forced to shut shop.

Last month, Birla met Sitharaman and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash over these issues.

Last November, Read had said that “Vodafone wants to stay in India for a long time” and he was confident of India’s prospects in the telecom sector and that the country was an important market for the Group.

–IANS

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