The government has approved the conversion of Vodafone Idea Limited’s (Vi) dues linked to interest on spectrum and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) worth Rs 161.33 billion into equity. With this, the government will have a 33 per cent stake, making it the biggest shareholder in the telco. 

In a regulatory filing, Vi informed that the Ministry of Communications has, in line with the reforms and support package for the telecom sector communicated earlier and the conversion option exercised by the company as provided for therein, passed an order on February 3, 2023, under section 62(4) of the Companies Act, 2013, directing the company to convert the net present value (NPV) of the interest related to deferment of spectrum auction instalments and AGR dues into equity shares to be issued to the government. The total amount to be converted into equity shares is Rs. 16133,18,48,990. The company has been directed to issue 1613,31,84,899 equity shares of the face value of Rs. 10 each at an issue price of Rs 10 each.

According to Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology and Railways, the government had sought a firm commitment that the Aditya Birla Group would run the company and bring necessary investments. The Group has agreed, and hence the government has cleared the conversion. He added that the government wants India to be a three-player market plus Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and ensure healthy competition for consumers.