Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio on Thursday wrote to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying firms (Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea) have "sufficient" financial capacity to clear their liabilities. Jio also slammed the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for writing ex-parte to the government on the financial distress in the sector, Jio said COAI was "blackmailing" to "extract relief from the government" after all legal recourse had expired.
"We submit that the so-called affected service providers have sufficient financial capacity to pay the government dues by monetising their existing assets/investments and by issuing fresh equity in their companies," it wrote in the letter to Prasad without mentioning Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
Jio said it "strongly disagrees with COAI submission that in absence of immediate relief by the government the telecom sector will collapse and there would be an unprecedented crisis in the sector as two of the three private operators will be facing extreme financial crisis."
"We submit that COAI has used threatening and blackmailing tone with the government by referring to possible job loss, quality of service loss and loss of investment in the sector and its contentions border on contempt of Supreme Court judgement, especially when the Supreme Court has prescribed three months' time to deposit the due amount.
"COAI is clearly insinuating that if the immediate relief by doing away with all legal financial obligations emerging from the Supreme Court's judgment in adjusted gross revenue case is not provided, the two operators might stop operations. We request the government to strongly rebuff such suggestions and insinuations," it wrote.
In its Wednesday letter, Jio accused COAI of "serious breach of trust" and having a "prejudiced mindset completely laced with one-sided thought process". COAI in its letter to the government has said that in absence of immediate relief by the Centre, two of the three private mobile operators -- Airtel and Vodafone Idea which provide services to 63 per cent of the current subscriber base -- will face "unprecedented crisis".
(With agency inputs)