The Reliance Jio office in Navi Mumbai. (Source: BloombergQuint)

RCom, Jio Seek Clarity On Telecom Ministry’s Stand On Spectrum Deal 

The Ambani brothers-led telecom firms are learnt to have jointly approached Telecom Ministry seeking clarification on the government’s stand over their spectrum trading deal, according to people aware of the development.

Reliance Jio and Reliance Communications have jointly written to the Department of Telecom seeking clarification on its stand over spectrum trading deal between the two companies, according to the person cited above.

Another person said Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has reiterated to Telecom Department that it's interested in going ahead with the spectrum trade with Anil Ambani's firm Reliance Communications.

The department has put the spectrum trading between the two companies on hold after Reliance Jio refused to bear burden on any past dues that RCom owes to the government.

In a letter to the department on Thursday, Jio cited petition of RCom before telecom tribunal TDSAT showing that the petitioners, who are the sellers, have retained the liabilities upon themselves. RCom, too, took the liability on itself with respect to clearing of dues to the department.

Also read: RCom Files Contempt Plea Against Telecom Department For Not Allowing Spectrum Sale

No immediate comments were received from the Department of Telecom, Reliance Jio and Reliance Communications in this regard.

RCom has offered the telecom department a corporate guarantee of Rs 1,400 crore issued by Reliance Realty Ltd. and an undertaking from RRL not to alienate property for a value of Rs 1,400 crore for approving sale of its spectrum to Reliance Jio.

Last year, RCom signed a pact with Reliance Jio for the sale of wireless spectrum, tower, fibre and media convergence nodes assets—the proceeds of which were to be used to pare debt.

From that deal, RCom so far announced the completion of the sale of optical fibre assets worth Rs 3,000 crore and sale of its media convergence nodes worth Rs 2,000 crore to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm.

RCom expects to get Rs 975 crore from sale of spectrum which it has promised to pay due of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson and Rs 230 crore to settle dues of minority stakeholder Reliance Infratel.

Also read: Ericsson Seeks Contempt Action Against Anil Ambani For Failing To Clear Dues 

Meanwhile, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has put on hold insolvency proceedings against RCom after a promise made by the company. NCLAT has adjourned the hearing to Jan. 22 in the matter of Ericsson petition and RITL minority investors' related settlement petition.

Total debt on RCom is estimated to be around Rs 46,000 crore.