Telecom ministry plans modification in existing tripartie agreements for telecom operators

Telecom Lead India: The Finance Ministry has requested
the Department of Telecom (DoT) to provide maximum security to lenders in the
event of termination of licence and incorporate suitable clause in
the draft tripartite agreement.


Finance Ministry said it would be necessary to expedite
assignment of the spectrum allotted to operators in favor of lenders,
according to Milind Deora, Minister of State in the Ministry of
Communication and Information Technology.


Finance Ministry urged the Indian telecom ministry to
permit a suitable stand still period for consultation with secured lenders
before cancellation of telecom license assigned in favor of lenders
in the event of default/breach of terms of allotment by the operator.


DoT can also incorporate a suitable clause in the
Tripartite Agreement (for assignment of License) to provide for termination
payment to lenders of an amount equivalent to lower of the license fee
mobilized or secured loan outstanding in the event of termination of license
allotted to an operator.


According to Finance Ministry, there should be
tripartite agreement between the Government of India, the lender and the
borrower to ensure that the lender’s interests are duly taken care of even in
the case of force majeure.


In case of default by the borrower, the bank should have
unfettered right to sell, transfer, assign, exchange or otherwise dispose of
the spectrum free of any restraining conditions.

 In case of cancellation/revocation/voluntary
surrender of telecom licence before full satisfaction of dues to the
lender, whatsoever may be the reason, the title/right to spectrum should be
with the lenders.


There shall be credible valuation methodology for valuing
spectrum, to reflect the true realisable value of the spectrum for
the purpose of treating it as security.


There shall be a robust formula/ methodology for finding
the market price of spectrum together with a margin which has to be prescribed/
laid down to take care of the downward fluctuations in prices before spectrum
can be treated as a tangible security.


Government has decided that the
existing tripartie agreements in Unified Access Service (UAS)
licenses be modified appropriately to include spectrum in order to achieve the
desired objective in consultation with the Department of Legal Affairs and
the Department of Financial Services.


Further, in the event of default by a licensee entailing
auction of spectrum, financial institutions/agents be allowed to conduct auction
in consultation with the Department of Telecommunications and in accordance
with such guidelines as may be laid down for the purpose by the Department of
Telecommunications. It would be open to financial institutions to request the
licensor to conduct the auction without prejudice to their rights. 


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