'No amount due to Etisalat DB; firm owes Rs 1,001 cr'

'No amount due to Etisalat DB; firm owes Rs 1,001 cr'

The Indian unit of UAE-based Etisalat owes Rs 1,001 crore to the government, while no amount is due to the company as claimed by it, according to the Department of Telecom officials.

According to sources, DoT has informed India-UAE High Level task force on investments of its position on the issue.

"Regarding licence return, it appears that the term has been used for entry fees. As per licence agreement, the entry fee is non-refundable," a DoT official is learnt to have said at the meeting.

DoT, however, has sought legal opinion on the matter, the sources said.
United Arab Emirates' government-run Etisalat held 44.7 per cent stake in Indian telecom operator Swan Telecom (renamed Etisalat DB). All its permits were part of the 122 licences that were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February 2012 in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

The company has demanded refund of the entry fee it paid for the Indian entity and release of bank guarantees that it submitted for the licences.

However, an official source said: "There are certain licence fees and other dues that company has to pay to DoT. As such, DoT is not liable to pay any amount in respect of these licences. The outstanding amount due on Etisalat DB is Rs 1,001.16 crore."

Etisalat did not immediately respond to the queries on the issue. The company had around 16 lakhs subscribers on its network when it closed it operations.

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