New Delhi, PTI. A day after Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) decided to convert interest on dues to the government into equity, the company’s CEO said on Wednesday that the government had made its stand very clear that it would take over the operations of the telecom company. I don’t want to take it in my hands. VIL Managing Director and CEO Ravindra Takkar said in the online briefing that the current promoters are fully committed to managing and running the company’s operations.

Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (VIL) on Tuesday decided to convert interest arrears of around Rs 16,000 crore to the government into equity, which would amount to about 35.8 per cent stake in the company. If this plan is completed, the government will become one of the largest shareholders of the company. The company currently has a debt of about Rs 1.95 lakh crore.

Takkar said the DoT’s letter regarding the option of converting interest on the dues into equity does not contain any condition that seeks to place the government on the board of directors. He said that the existing promoters are fully committed to manage the operations of the company.

He said that our entire dialogue with the government came out in the form of a package. Even after the announcement of the package, the government clearly stated that it does not want to take over the operations of the company. There is no intention of the Government to take over the operations of the Company. It wants that there should be three private companies in the market, the government does not want monopoly or only two companies to have the right of the market.

Takkar said the government has made it clear that it only wants the promoters of the company to run it and take it forward. The entire process is expected to be completed in the coming months, he added. “Given that most of the company’s debt liability is towards the government, it was clear to us that converting some of the debt into equity is a good option for the company to reduce its debt burden,” he said.

The company said that upon completion of this plan, the government’s stake in the company would be around 35.8 per cent, while that of the promoters would be around 28.5 per cent (Vodafone Group) and around 17.8 per cent (Aditya Birla Group).

Edited By: Ashish Deep