Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel on Thursday reported a whopping combined loss of nearly Rs 74,000 crore in the September quarter as the leading telecom players were hit by statutory dues arising from a recent Supreme Court ruling.
While Vodafone Idea posted a loss of Rs 50,921 crore -- the highest-ever quarterly loss by any corporate in India -- Airtel reported a loss to the tune of Rs 23,045 crore. Vodafone Idea and Airtel have made provisions for their liabilities arising from the Supreme Court order in their latest September quarter results.
The apex court has upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of telecom companies, a share of which has to be paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer.
Stung by colossal losses, Vodafone Idea said its ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on obtaining relief from the government and positive outcome of the proposed legal remedy. The company is also in the process of filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order.
Rajiv Sharma, head of research at SBICap Securities and Rajan Matthews, director general at Cellular Operators Association of India, discusses the issues faced by the telecom operators after the Supreme Court order.(With inputs from PTI)