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Voda Idea CEO speaks to staff to calm nerves

Vodafone Idea MD Ravinder Takkar told employees that the company is hoping for relief for the sector.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 15, 2019, 02.28 PM IST
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Reuters
vodafone---reuters
Vodafone Idea's MD came out of the board meeting for a brief while and told employees that the company is hoping for relief for the sector from the government.
MUMBAI: Vodafone Idea's MD Ravinder Takkar reached out to the telco’s 10,000-odd employees, in his first such video call since taking over, in a bid to calm nerves after a Supreme Court order on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) left the telco facing questions about its future, said people familiar with the matter.

Takkar Thursday detailed out the Supreme Court verdict which backed the government’s view to include non-core items items while computing AGR, leaving the telco facing additional statutory dues of over Rs 39,000 crore, in license fees, spectrum usage charges (SUC), penalties and interest. Including Vodafone Idea, some 15 telcos are staring at addition dues of over Rs 1.3 lakh crore.

“He (Takkar) came out of the board meeting for a brief while and told employees that the company is hoping for relief for the sector from the government,” the person said.

Later in the day, the telco posted a mammoth loss of Rs 50,921.9 crore for the fiscal second quarter, pulled down by provisions for the AGR related statutory dues payable.

The new Vodafone Idea CEO also highlighted Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read’s letter to the government, clarifying his statements on the future of Indian venture.

While Read was widely quoted as questioning the future of Vodafone Idea in the face of the additional dues and in the absence of government relief, the UK telecom major’s CEO clarified to the government that he had been misquoted, and that he meant the sector as a whole.
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