Etisalat return depended on auction rules, dispute resolution

Etisalat return depended on auction rules, dispute resolution New Delhi: UAE-based telecom firm Etisalat on Wednesday said its decision to re-invest in Indian market will depend on final auction rules and resolution of existing issues that it is facing following cancellation of Etisalat DB's licence by the Supreme Court.

"The decision on whether Etisalat wants to participate in the auction or continue investing in India, is a decision that the Etisalat Group's board would take. No such decision has been made nor will be made until there is clarity on the auction rules, restitution to EDB, and compensation to Etisalat Group," Etisalat's Group Senior Vice President for Regulatory Affairs, Kamal Shehadi, told PTI.

Etisalat holds around 44.7 percent stake in Swan Telecom (renamed Etisalat DB). It has been in dispute with its partner Majestic Infracon after name of the latter's promoter Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka figured in 2G scam.

Despite the problems Etisalat faced in India, Shehadi said the company considers it to be a great, transparent, democratic and vibrant economy.

"Given the right opportunity, anyone would want to consider India very seriously. The decision on whether Etisalat wants to participate auction or continue investing in India is a decision that the board of Etisalat group would take. No decision has been made yet," he said.

Following cancellation of licence, Etisalat DB filed an application in the Bombay High Court for winding up of business.

Shehadi denied Etisalat making any move to take legal action against Indian government for claiming compensation like other companies.

"Etisalat Group being a company which is 60 percent owned by the Government of UAE. We have been asked by the Government of UAE to hold on and to give an opportunity to Government of India to define its own policy for compensation," he said.

The government recently in its Presidential reference filed before the Supreme Court following its verdict on 2G licences has also sought the court's view on regarding protection of investment that are made under certain policy and if the policy is cancelled at later stage due to certain reason.

PTI