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These are testing times for Vodafone's India operations, being hit with a $4 billion billion and for which it doesn't have the funds. Image Credit: Bloomberg

New Delhi(Bloomberg): Vodafone Idea Ltd., the Indian mobile carrier ordered by the nation’s top court to pay $4 billion, told the government that it’s unable to pay the full amount and instead sought urgent state support to survive the crisis. In a letter, the beleaguered company said in the light of mounting losses, it doesn’t have the “financial strength” to settle the dues. The firm deposited 35 billion rupees ($488 million) with the government recently.

The wireless operator, formed by the merger of Vodafone Group Plc’s local unit and billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd., hasn’t reported a quarterly profit since announcing the deal in 2017. With its debt at more than $14 billion, Birla warned in December that the company risks collapse if the government doesn’t step in with relief measures.

In the letter dated February 25, the mobile carrier suggested some steps the government could take to ensure a sustainable future for the industry.