Vodafone had posted a loss of whopping Rs 50,921.9 crore for the fiscal second quarter. Bharti Airtel too reported a loss to the tune of Rs 23,045 crore for the September quarter.
New Delhi: The government intends to ensure no company shuts down because of financial instability, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing the issue of pressure on telecom sector.
"I want no company to shut operations. I want everyone to be up and running. We want the economy to have a good number of companies in business and flourish in their business.
"Not just telecom sector, my wish is that all companies in all sectors(s) be able to do business, service their market customer and survive. So with that approach, the finance ministry has always been talking and in telecom too that's the approach we have taken," the minister said in reply to a query regarding stress in the telecom sector.
The Supreme Court last month ruled in favour of the government and directed telecom companies to pay as much as Rs 1.42 lakh crore in past statutory dues to the government.
Following the Supreme Court verdict, the government had set up a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) under the Cabinet Secretary to suggest measures to mitigate financial stress in the sector.
Vodafone had posted a loss of whopping Rs 50,921.9 crore for the fiscal second quarter, pulled down by provisions for the AGR-related statutory dues payable. Telecom major Bharti Airtel too reported a loss to the tune of Rs 23,045 crore for the September quarter.
While announcing its financial results on Thursday, telecom major Vodafone Idea (VIL) had said its ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on obtaining relief from the government and positive outcome of the legal remedy post the apex court ruling on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) issue.
Keeping the current telecom situation in mind, Sitharaman said "it is the intention" to address the concerns of all those who have approached the government with serious concerns post the court's decision.
"We are also conscious that there is a Supreme Court order that the government has won and therefore, the department concerned has to take a call that would be a collective call, taking into account... understanding implication for the sector and finances of the government," she said.
Regarding CoS, the minister said "it is yet to take a call". Sitharaman also said that no bank has approached the finance ministry raising concern over their exposure to the telecom sector.
(With PTI inputs)
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Last Updated 16, Nov 2019, 2:21 PM