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India telecoms ordered to pay up $22bn in dues within 10 years

Vodafone Idea hit hardest by Supreme Court's tight deadline

Vodafone Idea, which formed from a 2017 merger that included Aditya Birla's telecom business, has been plagued by tough competition and outstanding dues to the government.   © Reuters

MUMBAI -- India's Supreme Court on Tuesday gave telecom companies including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea just 10 years to make good on 1.6 trillion rupees ($21.9 billion) in dues owed to the government.

The court also ordered the carriers to pay 10% of the pending dues by March 31, default on which will incur penalties, interest and contempt of court. A request by the telecommunications companies to allow 15-year installments was not approved.

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