Telecom watchdog urges forensic audit of Vodafone Idea's accounts

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 05, 2021

Earlier, VI had sought DoT more time to pay its spectrum dues.

Not-for-profit telecom interest group, Telecom Watchdog, has called for a forensic audit of Vodafone Idea's accounts for the last ten years before the Government decides to give financial relief to the operator.

“The Government cannot continue to extend benefits just to help and keep afloat one single company which is unable to manage its own affairs,” it said. Once privatisation of a sector is accepted as a principle, then public money cannot be foregone for ill decisions of a private company causing considerable losses to the exchequer, Telecom Watchdog said in a letter to the Ministry of Communications.


Last week, cash-strapped telecom operator Vodafone Idea asked the Department of Telecom more time to pay spectrum its dues. "We request you to please grant us another year of moratorium to pay this installment in April '23, instead of April '22. We are making this request well in advance considering that it is almost inevitable that we will not be able to pay this in April 2022 and DoT will need some time to process this request internally,” Vodafone Idea said in the letter to the DoT.


Countering this request, Telecom Watchdog said, “We are astonished by the request of VIL to defer payment of Government dues due to its inability to raise funds which establish its mismanagement of affairs in terms of operation and financial management. It has miserably failed to raise funds by dilution of equity and upgrade its networks with the latest technology to reduce cost etc.”


It added that the telecom sector is one of the few sectors that is not affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The revenues of this sector have increased due to the growing demand for data services. “In this situation, such request only points to the habit of seeking further concessions by blackmailing the government in the name of reduction in competition in the liberalised sector,” it said

Published on July 04, 2021

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