NEW DELHI, March 7 India will allow Telenor ASA
to offset 16.58 billion rupees ($302 million) paid for
its previous permits against the cost of the airwaves it bought
in a recent auction, a government official said on Thursday.
Telenor won back airwaves in six of India's 22 zones in an
auction last November for $733 million, after its earlier
permits were ordered to be revoked by India's Supreme Court as
part of a broader ruling in a licensing scandal.
The government had earlier allowed other carriers to offset
their previous licence fee against the new auction payments. But
Telenor had not been allowed to do so as it bid in the auction
through a new unit, different from the one that had paid the
"It was a just technical issue, only because the legal
entities were different," the official said, adding a
ministerial panel on Wednesday decided to allow Telenor the
Telenor paid a third of the new auction costs in December,
and is to pay the remainder in instalments starting after a
two-year moratorium. The company will be allowed the $302
million offset against the remainder of the auction payments,
the official said.
($1 = 54.7800 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Jijo Jacob)