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RCom alleges govt of bias in Idea-Vodafone merger case; DoT denies charges

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

has alleged DoT of adopting discriminatory approach by demanding from the company for one-time spectrum charges, while approving Vodafone-Idea merger without making similar demand, sources said today.

However, the allegations have been rejected by the telecom department.

In a letter dated July 10, 2018 to Aruna Sundararajan, debt-ridden telecom firm referred to conditional approval given to and India to go ahead with their merger deal without insisting on any (BG) against pending one-time spectrum charges (OTSC) of Vodafone, as per the sources.

"We request DoT not to adopt any such discriminatory, inconsistent and unfair stand against as compared to a completely opposite and favourable stand for Vodafone, and to instead release the of Rs 2000.1 crore immediately," said.

The telecom department has demanded payment of Rs 3,976 crore for one-time spectrum charge from India, and a of Rs 3,342 crore before it grants final approval for the merger.

"The department is following the laid down rules as per relevant guidelines, including Merger and Acquisition Guidelines and Spectrum Liberalisation Guidelines. The representation of RCom is under examination," Shambhu Nath Choudhary, Director, Media, said in response to PTI query.

RCom said that DoT has insisted on BGs against the disputed OTSC from the company at the time it approached the government for liberalising spectrum in 800 band in December 2015.

It said the DoT demanded BG despite the matter being sub-judice.

"Not only that, the DoT has unilaterally increased the original OTSC demand, without any hearing or process, based on subsequent auction prices," RCom alleged.

The Anil Ambani led firm has alleged that OTSC dues of are to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, which is around 4 times of RCom.

Telecom tribunal TDSAT on July 3 directed DoT to return BG of Rs 2,000 crore to RCom.

In the letter RCom asked DoT to release its BG as per direction of TDSAT without filing any petition on this matter before the

Email sent to RCom and Vodafone elicited no immediate reply on the issue.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 19:40 IST