Banks Call on Government to Ease Pressure on India's Vodafone Idea

Banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) have called on the Indian government to give debt-laden Vodafone Idea more time to clear its tax dues and spectrum fees, Reuters reported. An Indian court last year ordered the mobile carrier, a joint venture between the Indian unit of Britain’s Vodafone Group and Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular, to pay just over $8 billion to the government to settle long-standing dues. Vodafone has a stake of about 44% in the company and Aditya Birla owns nearly 27%. In June, Vodafone Idea’s then non-executive chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla warned that without a government reprieve the Indian mobile carrier’s “financial situation will drive its operations to an irretrievable point of collapse.” Vodafone Idea’s gross debt as of June 30 was 1.9 trillion rupees, comprising of deferred spectrum payment obligations of 1.06 trillion rupees and an adjusted gross revenue liability of 621.8 billion rupees, its latest stock exchange filing in June showed. Read more.
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