The final M&A guidelines for the telecom sector is likely to be ready by this month-end. “I had a talk with the secretary (telecom) this morning and said it (M&A policy) should be out by September 15... He says he needs another 15 days,” telecom minister Kapil Sibal said. The M&A norms that have been okayed in principle include expeditious approval to merger proposals of telecom companies if their combined market share is up to 35%.
Officials asked to apply mind while imposing penalties
Telecom minister Kapil Sibal urged officials to apply their minds while imposing fines on operators, failing which such powers may be handed over to the regulator. Operators raised the issue of the department of telecom levying the maximum penalty of R50 crore for even minor issues, hurting industry. “I hope officials will apply their mind openly... Impose penalty commensurate with the nature of the fault,” Sibal said.
Refund of difference in spectrum cost ruled out
Kapil Sibal on Wednesday virtually ruled out refunding the difference, if any, between what operators paid in the last 2G auction in November and the price to be established in the next round of spectrum sale. Videocon Telecommunication’s CEO Arvind Bali demanded refund of difference in amount paid by his company during November auction for 2G spectrum and the final price to be derived in the next round of auction.