Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Birla meets telecom secretary

Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla on Thursday met the telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan and is understood to have discussed the liquidity crunch being faced by the debt-laden industry.

Birla, who was accompanied by former Idea Cellular MD and Vodafone Idea board member Himanshu Kapania, declined to comment on the half-hour meeting. This is Birla’s second such meeting this month with top officials from the department of telecommunications (DoT). Thursday’s meeting comes after Sundararjan on Wednesday told reporters that no formal proposals regarding a relief package has been submitted by the industry.

In an earlier meeting with officials Birla is understood to have sought government’s help in form of some relaxation in the taxes and dues which industry pays on a quarterly basis to the DoT.

Sources in DoT indicated that talks largely centered on problems being faced by the industry, especially the liquidity crunch which is impacting operators who are already locked in a relentless price war over mobile tariffs

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