The Mint Report for 15 November 2010

The Mint Report for 15 November 2010

On Monday the Congress-led government put human resources minister Kapil Sibal in charge of the telecom ministry. Mint has learnt that Sibal will continue run the telecom ministry until there’s a reshuffle in the union cabinet. The move came after former minister A Raja’s own party, the D M K made him resign from his post late on Sunday night. Raja has been accused of selling 2G spectrum to telecom companies at extremely low prices.

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Also in telecom, Vodafone will have to make a large deposit as part of its tax dispute with the government. On Monday the Supreme Court told the company it would have to pay a “security tax" of 2,500 crore in the next three weeks. It will also have to provide a bank guarantee of 8,000 crore. Vodafone has been given eight weeks to secure the guarantee from a public sector bank. The Supreme Court will hear Vodafone’s main case on 5 February next year. At issue is whether the government gets to tax the company for buying Hutchison Telecom’s India operations from an overseas company. In October the tax authorities had demanded 11,200 crore from Vodafone.

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