Leadership

Kumar Mangalam Birla likely to infuse capital into Vodafone Idea

Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla is expected to infuse capital into cash-strapped Vodafone Idea (Vi).

According to media reports, the amount is likely to be less than ₹10,000 crore. A few weeks ago, Birla had stepped down as the non-executive chairman of Vodafone Idea. Birla’s rumured move to infuse capital is supposed to be a show of confidence.

Economic Times reported that the Vodafone group may sell a part of its stake in Indus Towers to infuse funds into the telcome company.

“KM Birla will put in some money, but not a significant sum while Vodafone is unlikely to pump in more money (from the UK group). Monetising the assets in Indus is really the plan,” Economic Times quoted a source as saying.

In September, the Union cabinet had  approved a big-bang relief package for the stressed telecom sector that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route.

The measures, aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in un-provisioned past statutory dues, also include the scrapping of Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions.

—With PTI inputs

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