Telenor denies quoting specific compensation amount

New Delhi, March 27: Norway-based Telenor Tuesday said it will seek compensation for its investment if the license issue is not settled but denied quoting any specific amount from the Indian government.

“While we haven’t stated any amount, we do intend to seek compensation for all investment, guarantees and damages. We are hopeful it remains the government’s intent to protect and encourage bonafide foreign investment in the country,” the company said in an email response to IANS.

The Supreme Court last month ordered cancellation of 122 licences, including 22 of Uninor, the joint venture between Telenor and India’s Unitech company.

The apex court asked the affected firms to shut shops in four months ending June 2 and directed the government to re-distribute the licences through an auction process.

Telenor, which invested Rs.14,000 crore (around $2.8 billion) in India through its Singapore arm, said it would invoke provisions of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore to protect its investment.

“We have informed the government of India of our intent to invoke the provisions of the CECA between India and Singapore,” said the telecom firm.

The issue came up at a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Nowegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul Monday.

Singh assured Stoltenberg of a fair solution to the tangle, reports from South Korea said.

The government through the department of telecom has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking extension of time line prescribed by the apex court saying the process would take at least 400 days.

Uninor also has filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking it to direct the government to conclude the 2G auction by June 2.

IANS