Amidst Vodafone India crisis, global CEO Nick Read may visit India on March 6, meet Ravi Shankar Prasad

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read mulls to visit India on March 6 and has requested the Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for a meeting, sources said.

Requesting anonymity, the source close to the matter said that the government, however, has not confirmed the meeting yet.

The meeting comes ahead of Vodafone India-Idea faces a crisis following the court's verdict against the company.

Among other firms, Vodafone-India has been the worst hit after the court's verdict as it owes over Rs 50,000 AGR dues to the telecom department.

Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla had earlier said that the company will fold if it is forced to make payment of over Rs 53,000 crore dues. He had even held multiple rounds of discussions with the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over the last few days to explore options to keep the company afloat.

In all, as many as 15 entities owe the government Rs 1.47 lakh crore - Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.

These dues arose after Supreme Court, in October last year, upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-core businesses in calculating the annual Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer.

The Supreme Court earlier in February had rejected a plea by mobile carriers such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-India for extension in the payment schedule and asked them to deposit an estimated Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past dues for spectrum and licences.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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