Ambani’s Jio advices Airtel, Vodafone Idea on how to pay dues

Mumbai: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. opposed any move by the government to provide financial relief to rival telecom operators, which have been ordered to pay $7 billion in past dues, saying they had adequate recourse to funds.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. can easily raise Rs. 40,000 crore ($5.7 billion) by selling some of its assets or shares, while Vodafone Idea Ltd. has no dearth of resources to pay the government its dues, Reliance Jio said in a statement dated November 1 and issued Sunday. The Supreme Court had last month ordered Bharti and Vodafone Idea to pay Rs. 49,990 crore.

If Airtel liquidates “small parts of its assets or issues 15-20 per cent new equity,” in its Indus Tower business it can easily raise the funds, Kapoor Singh Guliani, president for regulatory affairs at Reliance Jio, said in the letter. Vodafone India also has stake in Indus Towers, “thus there is no dearth of sources to pay” their dues, he said.