Fresh trouble for RCom! Reliance Jio refuses to pay dues of Anil Ambani telco; deal hangs in balance

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Updated: December 20, 2018 5:34 PM

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has maintained the stance that the deal cannot be cleared unless it gets clarity on payment of dues and associated charges.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has maintained the stance that the deal cannot be cleared unless it gets clarity on payment of dues and associated chargesThe Department of Telecom (DoT) has maintained the stance that the deal cannot be cleared unless it gets clarity on payment of dues and associated charges.

Fresh trouble has mounted for Reliance Communications (RCom), hanging its spectrum sale deal with Jio in the balance as Mukesh Ambani has refused to pay dues of younger brother Anil Ambani’s telco dues.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has maintained the stance that the deal cannot be cleared unless it gets clarity on payment of dues and associated charges, PTI reported quoting sources. RCom owes the DoT about Rs 2,900 crore. Earlier this month, RCom had given a corporate guarantee of Rs 1,400 crore to the DoT after an order by the Supreme Court.

Now with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio refusing to take any payment liability, the DoT sources told the news agnecy that under the present circumstances where none of the parties — RCom or Jio — are taking responsibility of payment of dues, the deal cannot be taken on the record.

On November 30, the SC had given partial relief of RCom and asked the debt-laden company to give a corporate guarantee of Rs 1,400 crore as against the demand for Rs 2,900 crore.

“The Supreme Court had asked us to accept guarantees being given by RCom. We have complied to the court order but as per spectrum trading rule, DoT has right to recover dues. After Reliance Jio letter denying to take past liabilities of RCom, DoT is not in the position to take the spectrum trading between them on record. The same has been conveyed to RCom,” the official source told PTI.

Last year, RCom signed a deal Reliance Jio for sale of wireless spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes assets – the proceeds of which were to be used to clear Rs 45,000 crore debt. So far, the company has completed the sale of optical fibre assets worth Rs 3,000 crore and sale of its media convergence nodes worth Rs 2,000 crore.

Meanwhile, RCom has also missed its December 15 payment deadline to settle dues of unsecured lender Ericsson. RCom expects to get Rs 975 crore from sale of the spectrum which it has promised to pay dues of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson and Rs 230 crore to settle dues of minority stakeholder Reliance Infratel.

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has adjourned the hearing to January 22 in the matter of Ericsson petition and RITL minority investors’ related settlement petition.

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