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Now, Vodafone CEO says it is committed to Indian market

Representational image. File

Representational image. File   | Photo Credit:

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Expresses regret for his remark; says ready to engage with govt.

A day after stating that Vodafone’s operations in India were in a ‘critical situation’, CEO Nick Read has written a letter to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressing regret over his statement, while stating that Vodafone remains committed to the India market, The Hindu has learnt.

Sources said the government had expressed its displeasure over his statements. Replying to queries on the India market, where Vodafone operates via a joint venture with Idea Cellular, Mr. Read had said that it had been “a very challenging situation for a long time.” He had also talked about heavy financial burden “through unsupportive regulation, excessive taxes and on top of that we got the negative supreme court decision.”

“Mr. Read has written a letter to the Minister expressing regret over his comments. He has stated that his comments made in the U.K., were not represented correctly by the Indian media,” a Telecom Ministry source said. The source added that Mr. Read stressed in the letter that Vodafone had confidence in the India growth story and remains committed to the market. “He has said that they will remain engaged with the government.” Vodafone Idea is one of the worst-hit telecom service providers due to the Supreme Court order that upheld the Department of Telecom’s interpretation of adjusted gross revenue. Following this, the company now needs to pay dues estimated to be ₹40,000 crore for licence fees and spectrum usage charges along with penalties and interest.

Citing financial stress in the sector, Cellular Operators’ Association of India, of which Vodafone Idea is a member, has sought complete waiver of resulting statutory dues, or at least waiver of the interests and penalties on these dues from the Centre.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 1:08:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/now-vodafone-ceo-says-committed-to-indian-market/article29965535.ece

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