Money & Banking

Any telco shutting shop not good for economy: SBI Chairman

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on February 15, 2020

Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI   -  Paul Noronha

Amidst speculation that SC verdict on AGR dues could lead to shutdown of a leading telecom player, State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar on Saturday said that any closure of any of the telcos at this juncture could be bad for the economy.


He however maintained that no formal communication from any of the telcos have been received post the SC verdict on AGR and the top three telcos of the country continue to be standard accounts for SBI, which is India’s largest commercial bank.

Kumar was responding to a query on the impact of Supreme Court directive of Friday asking telcos to pay their AGR dues by the midnight of February 14.

“ This (AGR dues) has been in the courts for sometime. I can’t comment on what companies will do to make the payments. Their Boards and management will take a call on it. I have no communication whatsoever on what they propose to do”, he said in the capital.


Any enterprise failing, whether it be telecom or otherwise, will have negative impact on employment and economy. “ It will impact the larger ecosystem whether it be banks, vendors, employees or consumers. That impact when it comes we will have to pay the price. That is why all efforts should be taken to save such enterprises, he added

SBI Chairman’s remarks are significant as it came a day after the Supreme Court on Friday came down hard on the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for not taking any action or collecting a single rupee from operators such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea India (VIL) on their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

Shortly after, Airtel said it would pay ₹10,000 crore by February 20 to the DoT.



Asked on budget proposal to increase deposit insurance from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakhs per deposit holder and whether SBI plans to pass on the increase in premium cost to the customer, he replied in the negative.

“We were not recovering the premium from customers earlier also. Even after this increase, we will not recover it from customers. If premium has gone up from 10 to 12 paise, then our annual premium costs will go up from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 3,600 crore”, he said.

On credit growth, SBI Chairman said that he expects credit growth to improve in the system.

Published on February 15, 2020

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