The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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What’s in a name' Dial DoT for reply

New Delhi, Sept 25: The communications ministry has been cast in the role of an overanxious parent. It has four names to choose from—DOT Estate Ltd, Door Sanchar Sampada Nigam Ltd, Door Sanchar Sampada Vikas Nigam Ltd and Sanchar Sampada Nigam Ltd—for the proposed new company that will take over the surplus land of demerged Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL).

Last month, the department of telecommunications (DoT) had constituted a committee consisting of the company secretaries of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to prepare a report in this regard. The report prepared by the committee has now been vetted by the law ministry.

“Choosing a suitable name for the new company and spelling out its main objectives are considered to be important matters. A decision in this regard may be taken only after careful consideration. The determination of the fair value of the surplus land would be a prerequisite for which a valuer needs to be appointed,” says a note prepared by the law ministry.

“Since the scheme for demerger would have to be carried out through the intervention of the court, solicitors would also have to be engaged to assist in the process. As shares of VSNL are also listed on the New York Stock Exchange, legal opinion of US based solicitors would also be required,” says the law ministry note.

The committee has proposed that the new company, which will take over 773.13 acres that has been identified as surplus, should be registered in New Delhi. VSNL has a total land area of 1230.13 acres.

“No decision has been taken yet on this issue and also on the proposed Rs 5 lakh authorised paid up capital that may be increased later depending on the valuation of the land,” said sources in the communications ministry.

Meanwhile, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd, in which the government still has a 25 per cent stake, has yet to take a legal opinion from US-based solicitors on the demerger since the company’s shares are also listed on the NYSE.

The VSNL board has yet to approve a scheme of demerger. Other actions required to be taken by VSNL include holding a meeting of shareholders and creditors, filing of petition in the court for sanction of the scheme and adjudication of the decree of the court for payment of appropriate stamp duty and registration charges.

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