BENGALURU, March 16 (Reuters) – Indian mobile carrier Vodafone Idea Ltd said it had settled the entire principal portion of the dues it owed to the government after paying an additional 33.54 billion rupees ($451.34 million) on Monday.

As per its own assessment of what the company needs to pay, Vodafone Idea said it had settled the entire 68.54 billion rupees in principal amount, out of the total 215.33 billion rupees, which include interest up to February 2020.

The payment comes after India’s top court last month threatened telecom operators and government officials with contempt proceedings for failing to implement an October ruling that ordered telcos to pay 920 billion rupees in overdue levies and interest to the government.

Analysts had called Vodafone Idea the most imperiled from the telecom dues as it was burdened with the largest share of the total dues demanded by the government.

In contrast, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is the least impacted since it is the newest Indian telecom player.

Bharti Airtel Ltd last month said it had complied with the court order after it paid more than $1.08 billion to the Department of Telecommunications.

Shares of Vodafone Idea were trading 5.4% higher by 0709 GMT in a Mumbai market that was roiled on virus fears. ($1 = 74.3125 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)


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