Debt-ridden telecom operator Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 1,700 crore to the government which includes the dues for the 5G spectrum and other spectrum acquired previously. Earlier, the firm cleared pending dues of licence fees and spectrum usage charges of about ₹450 crore for the March quarter of 2022-23.
“We wish to inform that the Company has today, i.e. 16th September,2023, made the requisite payment of Rs 1,701 crores (including interest) to the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, towards 2022 Spectrum Auction Instalment," Vi said in the regulatory filing.
"Idea/Vodafone annual instalment stands at around ₹160 billion ( ₹16,000 crore) compared to a current annualised EBITDA of ₹100 billion ( ₹10,000 crore). For Bharti, the instalment and annualised EBITDA for India operations stand at around ₹90 billion ( ₹9,000 crore) and ₹230 billion ( ₹23,000 crore), respectively," the report by Deutsche Bank said.
The Union Cabinet in 2021 had approved a big-bang relief package for the stressed telecom sector that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, a change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route, according to a media report by Mint.
The measure was aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues.