Mukesh Ambani advises other telecommunications billionaires how to raise money

NEW DELHI: Jio Infocomm Ltd, of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, opposed any government measures to provide financial assistance to rival telecommunications operators, who were ordered to pay $ 7 billion in previous installments, saying they had an adequate resource to the 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 shortage of resources to pay the government its fees, Reliance Jio said in a statement dated on November 1 and issued on Sunday. The Supreme Court had ordered last month that Bharti and Vodafone Idea pay 49.990 crore.

If Airtel liquidates small parts of its assets or issues between 15% and 20% of new shares, Indus Tower can easily raise funds in its business, said Kapoor Singh Guliani, president of regulatory affairs for Reliance Jio, in the letter. Vodafone India also has a stake in Indus Towers, therefore, there is no shortage of sources to pay its fees, he said.

Airtel's tower business operates more than 1.63,000 mobile phone towers throughout India.

The letter to the Indian telecom minister arrives after a government panel agreed to examine Bharti, controlled by billionaire Sunil Mittal, and Vodafone's demand to reduce the levies for spectrum use and the Fund's charge Obligation of the Universal Service. The two operators are fighting, with Vodafone Idea, led by billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, which records 11 consecutive quarters of net losses and Bharti falls into its first loss in the June quarter.

Reliance cited separately a Supreme Court verdict that held the spectrum as a finite resource and its distribution should not be done in a manner that is detrimental to the public interest.

All operators must have the mandate to deposit the applicable amounts within three months, as ordered by the court, Reliance said.

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