New Delhi: The troubles for Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) are far from over. In a meeting with top officials from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Reliance Jio Infocomm made it absolutely clear that in accordance with the agreement between the two operators, Jio would not be responsible for any previous liabilities of the latter.
DoT in the meeting said it would not be able to grant the no objection certificate (NoC) until RCom gave an undertaking that it would be responsible for any liabilities which might arise.
“Jio said they would like the agreement to be cleared, but cannot give any such undertaking as asked by DoT. So it is now up to RCom,” an official in the know of the meeting said.
Neither RCom nor Jio commented on the issue.
The tripartite meeting on Wednesday was held between RCom, Jio, and DoT to try and reach an agreement over a pending NoC that the telecom ministry had to give for spectrum trading between the two operators. With Jio refusing to budge from its earlier stance, the final outcome of the deal now lies with RCom, which has the option of moving the Supreme Court (SC) to challenge DoT’s stance.
On December 14, DoT had told the apex court that it would issue the NoC to RCom for the spectrum sale within two days, provided the company’s arm, Reliance Realty, did not sell the “preference shares that are reflected in the financial statement of 2017-2018.” RCom had then assured the SC that it would not do so without prior permission from the department.
The government’s nod for spectrum sale was in limbo after Jio wrote a letter to DoT on Friday seeking clarifications and assurances that it would not be held liable for RCom’s dues related to airwaves once its deal with RCom was completed. The condition forced DoT to hold its NoC as the rules state that the government can ask operators to clear dues before it gives a nod.
Earlier DoT had insisted that the RCom furnish bank guarantees worth Rs 30 billion. It had rejected the company’s offer to pledge land to cover the amount. The problem, DoT officials said, with the corporate guarantee backed by land was that it could get into legal tangle, which was not something the government favoured. A bank guarantee would have been easily encashable, they said.
The impasse following the meeting could also mean revival of insolvency against RCom and its arm, Reliance Infratel.
Ericsson India had moved an insolvency petition against RCom, which was accepted by the Mumbai Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Later, the two companies reached an agreement in the NCLAT. According to the agreement, RCom would pay Rs 5.5 billion to Ericsson, failing which the latter could revive its insolvency against the telecom company.
RCom had then approached the apex court seeking an extension of the deadline, which was initially September 30 and later changed to December 15.
The top court, however, had then made it clear that there would be no extensions beyond that. It had also directed RCom to pay Ericsson interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum for missing the September 30 deadline.
RBI needs to ensure stability: Shaktikanta Das
New Delhi: The head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said he would take the steps necessary to maintain financial stability in the country and help create favourable conditions for growth.
India’s economy has grown because of measures such as the nationwide goods and services tax and the insolvency and bankruptcy code that prevents wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets, Shaktikanta Das said in his address to an investor roundtable.
The country’s growth story is backed by its strong domestic fundamentals, he said, citing lower inflation.
Annual retail inflation rate dropped to an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December, strengthening the views of some economists that the central bank could ease monetary policy next month.
India’s top business groups on Thursday urged the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by at least half a percentage point and lower the cash reserve ratio it imposes on banks.
The country also needs to watch out for any sudden turbulence in the gloal financial market, Das said.
Centre removes two PNB executive directors for lapses in Rs 13,500-cr fraud
Chennai:The Central government has removed two Punjab National Bank (PNB) Executive Directors — Sanjiv Sharan and K.Veera Brahmaji Rao — for the lapses in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud allegedly perpetrated by absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi.
The PNB has intimated the action to the stock exchanges.
“We welcome the Central government’s action to dismiss the two Executive Directors. The scam of such proportions could not have happened without the knowledge of the top management,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told IANS.
“Perhaps for the first time, the Centra has removed the Executive Directors of a nationalised bank under the Nationalised Banks (Management and Miscellaneous Provision) Scheme, 1970. All these days it was said the top management of government-owned banks — Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors — are governed only by the contract of appointment.
“It is also good that the central government has followed the due process of giving the two PNB Executive Directors opportunity to put forth their views before dismissing them,” Venkatachalam added.
According to the Central government’s notification, on July 3, 2018, Sharan and Rao were issued a show cause notice as to why they could not be removed from office for having failed to exercise proper control over the functioning of PNB, thus enabling the fraud through the misuse of SWIFT at the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.
After considering Sharan and Rao’s replies and the comments of the bank’s Board, the Centre removed them from office as it found it was expedient in the interests of PNB.
According to the notification, the dismissal of Rao is subject to the outcome of a plea in the Delhi High Court.
“We are happy to see some action being taken. Whether it is only the two Executive Directors and other officials are also involved in the scam has to be probed in full,” Venkatachalam said.
According to him, in the past, low-level officers would have been the scapegoats for such massive scams.
“With the action taken on the top management, people will be satisfied that public sector bank officials are answerable for their lapses,” Venkatachalam added.
In this new world, data is the new wealth: Ambani
Mumbai: Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps against ‘data colonisation’, specially by global corporations, stating that Indian data must be owned by Indians.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against political colonisation, Ambani said India now needs a new movement against data colonisation.
“Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation. Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,” he said Gandhinagar at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.
Stressing that, in this new world, data is the new wealth, Ambani said, “India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporate, especially global corporations.”
He further said, “For India to succeed in this data driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India. In other words, give Indian wealth back to every Indian.”
Stating that the “entire world has come to recognise” Modi “as a man of action”, Ambani said, “Honorable Prime Minister, am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your digital India mission.”
Later in the day, countering Ambani’s call, Governor – Commonwealth of Kentucky, Matthew Griswold, asked Modi “to think in the opposite” in order to realise the tremendous opportunity that lies in Indo-US partnership.
“Honorable prime minister you have been asked from this stage to think about limiting the amount of competition, limiting the exchange of ideas, information and goods. I would encourage you to think in the opposite,” he said.
While stating that it is important to put the people of India first, Griswold said, “It is also important to put their opportunity and our opportunity as citizens of the world to trade with one another and exchange ideas because iron sharpens iron.”
The greatest possibility comes from the exchange of these idea, he added.
“If we can cut the regulations, cut the bureaucracy, cut the red tape, the opportunity is enormous between our nations,” he added that India is now the 10th largest trading partner for the US and “climbing quickly”.
“The opportunity before us between India and the United States is incredible, but responsibility falls on each of one us, those of us in elected positions, those of you in the industry, those of you who represent various constituencies, we have much work to do…we must do this, ” Griswold said.