Vodafone Idea defers Rs 8,837 cr AGR dues payment, gets option to pay interest via equity


PTI, Jun 23, 2022, 11:01 AM IST

Image Source: Business Standard

Debt-ridden telecom operator Vodafone Idea has decided to defer payment of additional adjusted gross revenues of Rs 8,837 crore dues for a period of four years.

The company in a late-night filing on June 22, said that the DoT on June 15, has raised adjusted gross revenue (AGR) demand for additional two financial years beyond 2016-17, which were not covered under the Supreme court order on the statutory dues.

Vodafone Idea (VIL) in the filing said that its board of directors ”has approved the exercise of the option of deferment of the AGR-related dues by a period of four years with immediate effect, by the said DoT Letter. The amount of the AGR-related dues as stated in the said DoT Letter is Rs 8,837 crores which are subject to revision on account of the disposal of various representations”.

The government calculates its share of the revenue from telecom operators based on their AGR, which is considered to have been earned by them from the sale of services.

VIL filing said that the DoT has offered the company a moratorium of four years for all AGR-related dues up to Financial Year 2018-19, which were not included in the Supreme Court order dated September 1, 2022, which can be exercised within 15 days by June 30.

”The said DoT Letter also provides the Company an option for equity conversion of interest dues upfront for these AGR-related dues for which 90 days has been provided from the date of the said DoT Letter,” VIL said.

The company said the fresh demand of Rs 8,837 crore is subject to revision on account of the disposal of various representations, CAG, special audit, and any other outcome of litigation and ”the final amount to be paid in six equal annual installments post moratorium period starting from March 31, 2026”.

The government has already approved Vodafone Idea’s proposal to convert about Rs 16,000 crore interest payment dues of the previous AGR moratorium into around 33 percent stake in the company.

According to official data, telecom operators owe over Rs 1.65 lakh crore to the government in adjusted gross revenue up to the financial year 2018-19.

The fresh calculation shows AGR liability on Bharti Airtel was Rs 31,280 crore, Vodafone Idea Rs 59,236.63 crore, Reliance Jio Rs 631 crore, BSNL Rs 16,224 crore, MTNL Rs 5,009.1 crore up to the financial year 2018-19.

The company in a separate filing said that its board has approved raising of Rs 436.21 crore from Vodafone Group company Euro Pacific Securities through the issue of preferential shares at a unit price of Rs 10.2 apiece or warrants at the same price.

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