Vodafone Idea’s License Fee Dispute Dismissed by DoT

Vodafone Idea witnessed a nearly 2 percent decline in its share price upon opening on the NSE on October 6. The Department of Telecommunication (DoT), in a regulatory filing dated October 5, rejected the objections and representation put forth by the company regarding license fee demands amounting to Rs. 1,749 crore for FY2015-16 and Rs. 1,524 crore for FY2016-17. The DoT’s order, dated October 4, led to a drop in the company’s shares, trading at Rs 10.90 as of 10 am, down by nearly 3 percent compared to the previous day’s closing price.

In response, Vodafone Idea highlighted that it had previously communicated with the DoT regarding corrections needed in the demands up to FY 2016-17, which had not been addressed by the DoT thus far. The company also pointed out that if the DoT had the authority to modify demands for the period covered by the Supreme Court judgment, there were errors requiring correction that would reduce the demand determined by the Supreme Court.

Vodafone Idea stated that it would carefully review the communication from the DoT to determine its next course of action.

Furthermore, CNBC TV-18 reported on October 5 that Indus Tower, a tower company, had written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regarding Vodafone Idea’s failure to fulfill its contractual payments. According to the report, Indus Towers expressed concern that this failure to meet payment obligations had significantly impacted its finances and operations.

Prachur Sah, MD & CEO of Indus Towers, was quoted in the letter as stating, “This non-payment has severely impacted cash flow, working capital, and overall financial performance.” As of September 30, 2023, Vodafone Idea’s outstanding dues to Indus Towers amounted to Rs 7,864.5 crore.

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