Manoj Sinha in an official statement has remarked that there is no delay being imposed on the Vodafone-Idea merger from the government’s side. The Telecom Minister said that the Department of Telecommunications wasn’t the authority responsible for the delay in the consolidation of two entities and that it was only a matter of few formalities after which the merger would be finalised.
In an industry event held in New Delhi, Manoj Sinha said “There is no delay from the department or the government’s side. The completion of statutory process and formalities are important” reports Economictimes.
Despite making the statement, Manoj Sinha clearly said that in case the formalities were not completed then the DoT wouldn’t be in a position to grant clearance to the merger.
It was after Reliance Jio stepped into the market in September 2016, when Idea Cellular and Vodafone India decided to merge their operations to increase their stronghold in the country.
He further added to his statement “The merger and acquisitions norms were fixed by the Department of Telecommunications and if those are completed, there will be no delay of even a second from the department.”
It was his thought that the merger would obtain clearance very quickly once both the telecom companies complete the prerequisites.
The merger which was to be finalised by the end of June 2018 has been stuck on the last stage because the DoT has decided to raise a demand of Rs 4,700 crore for one-time spectrum charges (OTSC) against Vodafone India which the telco supposedly owes to the government. In addition to the OTSC charges which the DoT is demanding from Vodafone, the department is also seeking bank guarantees of around Rs 2,100 crore.
It is noteworthy, the company Vodafone India came into existence in the year 2015 when its four subsidiaries— Vodafone East, Vodafone South, Vodafone Cellular and Vodafone Digilink went through a merger to form the company which is now known as Vodafone India.
In total, the demand which has been raised by the government is pegged to be around Rs 6,678 core out of which Vodafone India has only paid Rs 2,000 crore following the verdict by Supreme Court.