Bharti Airtel and Voda-Idea Dues Should Not be Waived: Reliance Jio to Telecom Minister

Bharti Airtel and Voda-Idea Dues Should Not be Waived: Reliance Jio to Telecom Minister

Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel

New Delhi, November 3, 2019:

Telecom major, Reliance Jio has written a letter to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, citing that the government does not have any legal ground to grant relief to Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea with regard to payment of dues on the basis of adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

Jio said that the Supreme Court had recently dismissed the arguments of Bharti Airtel and Voda-Idea’s arguments for a waiver or lowering of interest, penalty and such dues and that the Government did not have the right to surpass the apex Court’s order.

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In its letter addressed to Prasad, Jio stated parts of the recent judgment. It acknowledged that “interest and penalty have rightly been levied,” and that “there is no substance in the submission (of Airtel and Voda-Idea) that interest, penalty and interest on penalty cannot be realized. Therefore, it finds no ground to reduce the same, considering the nature of untenable objections raised on behalf of the two telecom companies.

As per reports, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had appealed for a total waiver of the total amount of Rs 1.3 lakh crore from the Government, citing poor financial state of the telecom sector. It also sought for a repayment period of 10 years with a two-year moratorium.

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Jio reiterated that both the companies hold adequate financial strength to deal with adverse situations and therefore it has asked the government not to interrupt the court’s decision. It went on to say that any cut in financial liability of Bharti Airtel and Voda Idea would be improper for the government to consider any waiver of its claims. It added that any move favoring such proposal would be a loss to the public exchequer and contrary to the Supreme Court judgment.

As per the recent directive of the Supreme Court, Voda-Idea and Airtel would have to jointly churn out close to Rs. 81,000 crore in licence fees, along with with penalties and interest.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Nov 03, 2019