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DoT Issues Fresh Threat to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communication

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Another trouble strikes Anil Amban-led Reliance Communications (RCom), as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the telecom firm to pay Rs 774 crore in bank guarantees towards upcoming spectrum payment dues or its licences will be cancelled. The development may affect the telco’s deal to sell its airwaves to Reliance Jio Infocomm.

RCom, however, has agreed to furnish the bank guarantee by end of July, ET reported. The DoT notice to RCom was reportedly sent in the last week of June.  RCom in a reply said that DoT held bank guarantees of Rs 2,540 crore which the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed it to return to the company. The DoT is likely to appeal the TDSAT ruling in the Supreme Court.

RCom said delay in paying up was not causing any loss to DoT, as the bank guarantees were not interest-bearing. However, it wasn’t clear how RCom will arrange the funds, as it is unable to repay crores owed to creditors and is banking on asset sales for that. The department is unlikely to approve of RCom’s spectrum sale to Jio if the Anil Ambani-led company does not pay the said amount.

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