DoT looking into Vodafone-Idea plea on recalculating dues
Vodafone and Idea Cellular have cited ‘some difference of opinion’ on the way dues have been computed by the government, which is ‘looking into’ the issue,says telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan
New Delhi: Vodafone and Idea Cellular have cited “some difference of opinion” on the way dues have been computed by the government, which is “looking into” the issue, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Wednesday.
“They (the companies) have come back to us saying there is some difference of opinion in calculation of dues. The department of telecommunications is looking into it and we have not taken a view yet,” Sundararajan said on the sidelines of a broadband event organised by CUTS International.
The DOT calculation relates to bank guarantees and cash payment sought from Idea Cellular and Vodafone India. The two companies have made a request for re-calculation.
Earlier this month, the telecom ministry granted conditional approval to the long-pending merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular that will create the country’s largest mobile services operator, dislodging Bharti Airtel.
The department has sought payment of Rs3,926 crore in cash pertaining to a one-time spectrum charge of Vodafone. The amount can be paid either by Idea or Vodafone. The DoT has also asked Idea Cellular to furnish a combined bank guarantee of Rs3,342 crore.
The combined operations of Idea and Vodafone will create the country’s largest telecom operator worth over $23 billion (or over Rs1.5 lakh crore), with a 35% market share and a subscriber base of around 43 crore.