More reports on: Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd
Sistema-Shyam to complete stake sale to Russian government by Q1 2011 news
20 December 2010

Sistema Shyam (SSTL), the India arm of Russian group Sistema, today said its investment plans in India are well on track even as the authorities have launched a probe into one of the biggest corruption scams to hit India, involving telecom licences.

The Indian unit's chief executive Vsevolod Rozanov said the firm would reply to the government's letter on its failure to meet rollout obligations. The company added that the Russian government's planned investment of about $600 million in the Indian operations was expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Rozanov added that all the principal clearances had been received from the Indian as also the Russian side and only technicalities remained.

The Russian government is to get a 20 per cent stake in Sistema Shyam, which currently holds telecom licences for all of India, with operations across 13 of India's 22 telecom zones.

The Indian telecom ministry last week sent out notices to firms named by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for their ineligibility to hold auction of licences, resulting in heavy losses to the exchequer. The firms have been asked to defend their permits.

The inquiry comes as part of an investigation into a scandal regarding allegations that the former telecom minister at the centre handed out licences too cheaply and, in some cases, to companies that were not eligible.

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Sistema-Shyam to complete stake sale to Russian government by Q1 2011