Political Capital missing to tax masses - Let GST do it! - Dr Panagariya tells TIOL (See 'THE COB(WEB)' in TIOL) Arbitration - Petition u/s 34 is beyond pecuniary jurisdiction of District Court as when interest is added, 'Aggregate Value' of claim exceeds Rs two crore: HC (See 'Legal Desk') SEBI - Failure of merchant banker to exercise due diligence and correctly apply law while calculating offer price attracts penalty u/s 15I: SAT (See 'Legal Desk') Aavishkaar Capital launches 'ESG First Fund' Swiggy raises USD 700 million in funding round led by Invesco Baby Amore raises external funds from GetVantage & marketplace Railways follows roadmap for supplying rakes for coal (See 'Corp Brief') Udyam Registration paves way for success (See 'Corp Brief') IBC - Since claim of Appellant is filed much belatedly, same is rightly rejected by Resolution Professional: NCLAT (See 'Legal Desk') Arbitration - Quantity and quality of evidence, is aspect that lies in exclusive domain of Arbitrator and requires no intervention of Court: HC (See 'Legal Desk') CCI imposes penalty on maritime transport companies (See 'Corp Brief') CCI nod for acquisition of shares of Future Generali by Generali N.V (See 'Corp Brief') CCI okays internal acquisition by Glaxo Smith Kline (See 'Corp Brief') SEBI Listing Obligations Regulations - Reclassification of promoter to public shareholder without seeking prior approval from stock exchange can attract penalty under LODR Regulations : SAT (See 'Legal Desk') IBC - Limitation Act, 2013 is not applicable to IBC, 2016 : NCLT (See 'Legal Desk') Trademark Act - Once found that Defendant's TM is identical with Plaintiff's registered TM, Court cannot go into enquiry whether infringement would cause deception or confusion: SC (See 'Legal Desk') Competition Act - Anti-competitive tendering process can be investigated by CCI even though lottery business carried out by State is res extra commercium - SC (See 'Legal Desk') IBC - Framework for cross-border insolvency to be announced soon (See 'Corp Brief') NITI Aayog, Rocky Mountain release 'Banking on EVs in India' report (See 'Corp Brief') Tiger conservation crucial for sustaining plethora of ecosystem services: Yadav (See 'Corp Brief') Toy-based pedagogy is in alignment with NEP 2020: MoS (See 'Corp Brief') SEBI - Provisions of SARFAESI Act cannot override those of LODR Regs., 2015 and CA, 2013 as they are not inconsistent with those of SARFAESI Act : SAT (See 'Legal Desk') CPC - Where there is identity of matter in both suits, even if further reliefs are claimed in subsequent suit, second suit must be stayed u/s 10: HC (See 'Legal Desk') PMLA - Arrested persons cannot be retained in judicial custody where ED is unable to complete investigation in a particular time frame due to peculiar nature of offence - bail allowed: SJ (See 'Legal Desk') Mineral Production Goes up by 5% in Nov month (See 'Corp Brief')

Govt releases FAQs on Telecom Reforms Package

Published: Jan 13, 2022

By TIOLCorplaws News Service

NEW DELHI, JAN 13, 2022: A number of queries have been received on the issue of a few Telecom Service Providers exercising their options in respect of conversion of certain dues to Government into equity as per the Telecom Reforms Package announced on 15th September 2021.

1. Is government paying to acquire the shares of any Telecom Service Provider?

No.  Government is not paying anything to acquire the shares of any TSP. Certain dues payable by some of the TSPs are being converted to equity/preference capital in these Companies based on options exercised by them as per the Telecom Reforms Package announced on September 15 th 2021. 

2. Then how shares are being acquired in three companies?

The telecom sector has gone through a long period of litigation.  As a result, all the telecom companies have high amounts of liabilities which have arisen due to various legacy issues. These legacy issues have put the Indian telecom industry under stress.

The telecom sector is vital for our society, specially so in the post-Covid scenario. Therefore, government approved many structural and procedural reforms in September 2021. 

As a part of these reforms, the TSPs were given the option to convert some certain interest liabilities owed to the government into equity/preference shares in favor of the government.

While some companies have opted not to convert their liabilities into equity/preference shares, three companies have exercised the option of converting liabilities into equity/preference shares.  They have offered this option to government in lieu of their liabilities. 

Government can sell these shares at appropriate time and thereby receive the amounts due.

3. Will this make these three companies PSU?

No.  These three companies will not become PSUs.  These three companies will continue to be managed as professionally run private companies.

4. What will be the impact on telecom industry & common man?

Telecom industry needs to stay healthy and competitive. Government's reforms and support in times of such pandemic means that companies will be able to sustain their business.

It will also stop a scenario where there are very few players in the market. Such potential lack of competition could lead to higher prices & poor services. Enough competition in the market safeguards the interests of the common man.

With conversion of liabilities into equity/preference shares, the sector has got back the ability to invest and provide better services. Companies also retain the ability to invest so that telecom services can reach far-flung areas.

5. What steps have been taken by NDA government to revive BSNL?

MTNL and BSNL had been systematically weakened in the past  as they were not allowed to upgrade technology.  As a result, these two PSUs lost market share and are burdened with a debt of about 59,000 Cr.

Government has taken multiple steps to ensure survival of these PSUs.  Government approved a package worth Rs 70,000 Cr to revive and grow BSNL and MTNL. 

Government efforts have resulted in development of Indian 4G and 5G technologies.  BSNL is in the final stages of 4G POC. Government has allocated funds for BSNL to acquire 4G spectrum also.  All these steps have enabled BSNL to survive through the highly competitive phase. Government support is now helping BSNL to provide high speed internet services to more than 20 Lakh households.

Unlike the past, the present government is transparently working to ensure that affordable telecom services are reaching the poorest households.