The government is working on several options to save Vodafone Idea from being shut down. This includes the option of giving the company more time to pay its liabilities, excluding Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR). A senior government official said that the government wants to keep the condition of the telecom sector right and take such measures that avoid the layoffs.
Sunil Mittal demands Airtel to reduce tax on Thursday
Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal met Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and demanded a reduction in tax. Mittal said, 'AGR has become a major crisis for this industry. The government is looking for a solution. The government official said that the government is not considering bringing an ordinance to help the government companies like GAIL, Power Grid Corporation of India and Oil India Limited change the definition of AGR. He said that for the relief on the demand notice issued by the Department of Telecommunications, they would have to go to the Telecom Tribunal as indicated by the Supreme Court.
Telecom Department in strange dilemma
Telecom officials say that our dilemma is that on the one hand we have to follow the order of the Supreme Court and collect from the telecom companies. Together these arrangements will have to be made that these companies continue to operate. However, our stand is clear. The government does not want to let monopoly form in the country. He said, 'The Department of Telecommunications is considering all possible methods. There is also an option to postpone payment of dues other than AGR.
The government is also considering bank guarantee. He said that companies have started paying as per the court order, so the government is thinking about taking legal advice from the Solicitor General on whether to redeem the bank guarantee. He said that in a way the court has given time till March 17 to the companies to pay the full amount. On the same date, the court will hear the amendment petitions filed by the companies.