With the telecom industry battling a mountain of debt in the form of AGR dues worth Rs 1.47 lakh crore, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar on Monday said “nobody wants to kill the sector”.
The state-owned bank is yet to hear from the government on the issue, he said, when asked if it has sought views from bankers.
“Nobody wants to kill the sector, let me be very clear,” Kumar said, when asked about the problems being faced by the telecom industry.
Previously, Kumar had said that SBI has an outstanding loan of Rs 29,000 crore to the telecom sector and another Rs 14,000 crore in bank guarantees, which can get invoked in case of a non-payment of dues by the telcos.
Last week witnessed a flurry of meetings in the national capital between senior executives of the telecom firms and the government representatives.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court has asked the telecom firms to deposit an estimated Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past dues for spectrum and licences by March 17.
Payment of the dues is being seen as an existential threat for some players, especially Vodafone Idea, which has to pay RS 53,000 crore.
(With input from agencies)