RCom Says DoT Favors Vodafone; Demands OTSC Refund Of Rs 2000 Cr

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications has alleged that, in the matter of OTSC or one time spectrum charges, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) holds a biased view towards Vodafone.

Alleging DoT of discriminatory practices, RCom has asked the department to release its OTSC bank guarantees of Rs 2000 crore immediately as no such charges are being taken from Vodafone.

In a letter to the DoT, RCom has alleged that the authority holds a biased view towards other operators. In the letter to DoT secretary Aruna Sundararajan, reviewed by TeleAnalysis, the operator has protested that while it had to pay an amount of Rs 2000.1 crore in Bank Guarantees against OTSC, no such demands were made from Vodafone as part of its merger with Idea Cellular.

The OTSC on Vodafone was Rs 9000 crore and citing media reports that the DoT has given approval to Vodafone-Idea merger, RCom has asked why no such OTSC payment was demanded from the other operator.

“We request DoT not to adopt any such discriminatory, inconsistent and unfair stand against RCom, as compared to a completely opposite and favourable stand for Vodafone,” RCom writes in the letter. “(DoT) instead release the Bank Guarantees of Rs 2000.1 crore immediately.”

The issue goes back to 2015 when RCom was granted spectrum in the 800 MHz band and the department had asked the operator to pay Rs 2000 crore as one time spectrum charges or OTSC. The amount was paid subsequently in the form of Bank Guarantees. This was, however, challenged by the operator who then approached TDSAT for a redressal. Early this month, the tribunal had asked the DoT to release the money to RCom.

However, there is a new development in the issue. RCom claims that the DoT is planning to approach the Supreme Court against the TDSAT order.

“The proposed action of DoT of filing an SLP against the TDSAT order for return of RCom’s OTSC bank guarantees would be completely contrary to the stand taken as above by DoT in relation to Vodafone’s OTSC demands where DoT has not demanded any bank guarantees on the ground that the matter is subjudice,” the letter reads.

The letter also claims that its (RCom’s) OTSC demands were in identical manner and was subjudice but it was asked to make the payment whereas in a similar situation Vodafone was treated differently.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: