‘Will with­draw non­se­ri­ous cases against Pati­dars’

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTNATION -

GAND­HI­NA­GAR: In a bid to pla­cate the Pati­dar com­mu­nity ahead of As­sem­bly elec­tions, the BJP govern­ment in Gu­jarat on Thurs­day an­nounced that it would with­draw all “non-se­ri­ous” cases lodged against the com­mu­nity mem­bers dur­ing the ag­i­ta­tion for OBC quota. How­ever, the govern­ment did not give any def­i­nite as­sur­ance about with­drawal of two sedi­tion cases against the quota ag­i­ta­tion leader Hardik Pa­tel. NEWDELHI: Tata Sons Ltd will sell its con­sumer mo­bile busi­ness to In­dia’s largest tele­com op­er­a­tor Bharti Air­tel Ltd vir­tu­ally for free, as part of the group chair­man’s strat­egy to exit busi­nesses which have been a pro­longed drag and have lit­tle vis­i­bil­ity of fu­ture prof­its.

Air­tel is ac­quir­ing the as­sets on a debt-free, cash-free ba­sis, ex­cept for it as­sum­ing a frac­tion of the un­paid spec­trum fees that the Tata group owes to the depart­ment of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions (DOT), the com­pa­nies said in a joint state­ment on Thurs­day.

The tele­com in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly smaller op­er­a­tors such as Tata Te­le­ser­vices Ltd, has been hob­bled by a crip­pling price war af­ter the en­try of Re­liance Jio In­fo­comm Ltd, backed by In­dia’s rich­est man Mukesh Am­bani.

This has trig­gered a wave of con­sol­i­da­tion in the in­dus­try, in­clud­ing a merger between Voda­fone In­dia Ltd and Idea Cel­lu­lar Ltd. Air­tel’s ac­qui­si­tion of the Tata as­sets will help nar­row the gap between it and the Voda­fone-idea com­bine. Bharti Air­tel will as­sume ₹2,000 crore of the ₹10,000 crore that the Tata group com­pa­nies owe DOT, ac­cord­ing to a per­son with di­rect knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

All other li­a­bil­i­ties and dues will be set­tled by the Tata group, the state­ment said.

The merger is sub­ject to req­ui­site ap­provals and in­volves two of the Tata group com­pa­nies—tata Te­le­ser­vices Ltd and Tata Te­le­ser­vices ( Ma­ha­rash­tra) Ltd (TTML).

Air­tel will ab­sorb Tata’s mo­bile phone op­er­a­tions across

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.