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India rejects RCom's spectrum trading deal with Jio

India's telecom department rejected a proposal from Reliance Communications Ltd. to sell 122.4 MHz of spectrum to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. because it does not adhere to its guidelines, The Economic Times (India) reported.

The setback to RCom's plans to trade airwaves reportedly came after Jio wrote to the department stating it is not responsible for RCom's past spectrum dues.

The report said the duty to settle unpaid dues of the seller is on the buyer, according to norms of the Department of Telecommunications.

The development complicates debt-laden RCom's asset monetization plan that was to fund a payment of over 5.5 billion Indian rupees to Swedish gear maker Ericsson to avoid insolvency proceedings.

Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd., an unsecured operational creditor of RCom, had filed an insolvency and bankruptcy petition against RCom to recover dues in 2017.

In December, the Supreme Court of India accepted RCom's spectrum sale plan that is central to its decision to reduce debt worth 460 billion rupees. The court had ordered DoT to grant a no-objection to the spectrum trading.

As of Dec. 18, US$1 is equivalent to 70.57 Indian rupees.