Committed to paying any outstanding or disputed amount, RCom tells DoT

Anil Ambani
Reliance Communications (RCom), led by Anil Ambani (pictured), on Thursday said it remained committed to paying any outstanding or disputed amount subject to final adjudication.

A tripartite meeting was held on Wednesday between RCom, Reliance Jio (RJio), and the department of telecommunications (DoT) over a pending no-objection certificate (NoC) that the telecom ministry had to give for spectrum trading between the two operators. 

Jio said it would not be responsible for any previous liabilities of RCom in accordance with the agreement between the two operators. DoT, on the other hand, said it would not be able to grant the NoC until RCom gave an undertaking that it would be responsible for any liabilities that might arise.

RCom's statement on Thursday, thus, comes as a response to the DoT requirement. The company said in the statement: "The requirement of giving the Bank Guarantee as per DoT's demand has been substituted by the orders of the TDSAT and the Supreme Court, with Reliance Realty Limited providing a non-disposal undertaking and Corporate Guarantee. Hence, compliance with the Trading Guidelines is met."

The company went on to add that it 'sincerely' hoped that DoT would comply with the SC's December 14 order and grant the long-awaited NoC or consent.

On December 14, DoT had told the apex court it would issue the NoC to RCom for the spectrum sale in two days provided the company's arm, Reliance Realty, did not sell the "preference shares that are reflected in the financial statement of 2017-2018." RCom had then assured the court it would not do so without prior permission from the department. 

Jio, however, wrote to the DoT seeking clarifications and assurances that it would not be held liable for RCom's dues related to airwaves once the deal with RCom was completed. 

Earlier, DoT had insisted that the RCom furnish bank guarantees worth Rs 30 billion. If the impasse continued, this could also mean revival of insolvency against RCom and its arm Reliance Infratel.

Ericsson India had moved an insolvency petition against RCom, which was accepted by the Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal. Later, the two companies reached an agreement in National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). 

According to the agreement, RCom would pay Rs 5.5 billion to Ericsson, failing which the latter could revive its insolvency against the telecom company.

RCom, however, is yet to pay Ericsson. It told NCLAT on Wednesday that it would make the payment after it received NoC from DoT for its spectrum sale to RJio.

The matter before the NCLAT was adjourned a hearing in the matter to January 22. This was done in view of the case pending before the Supreme Court.

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