More than a fortnight after the Supreme Court quashed 122 mobile telphone licences,Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said foreign investors have not lost confidence in the sector and will participate in the auction of the airwaves freed by the court judgement.
He also ruled out the possibility of foreign telecom investors quitting India in the wake of the judgement. “There is no nervousness (among foreign investors),” said
Sibal,who had met most of foreign companies impacted by the apex court ruling.
“While some of them have indicated to me that they entered the market with a legitimate licence in the hands of somebody else and when I say to them that the Supreme Court has said that we need to auction (the spectrum) and that they can participate in the auction and they are more than happy to participate,” he said.
The Supreme Court had earlier this month cancelled 122 licenses that were issued during the tenure of the then Telcom Minister A Raja in 2008. Most of the cancelled licences belong to new operators like SSTL,Unitech Group companies,Etisalat DB,Videocon,STel and Loop.
Some of these firms had roped in foreign investors like Norway’s Telenor,Russia’s Sistema and Middle Eastern firm Etisalat for the roll-out of telecom services in the country. “The nervousness is about the uncertainty of the policy and is not about this licence or that licence,” Sibal said adding the ruling had brought out delinking spectrum or airwaves from licence. “So to that extent,it brings clarity because now we will move forward with a unified licence,” he said.