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Employees take to the streets to save Uninor in India

Delhi,Business/Economy, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Employees of telecom service provider Uninor, which stands to lose all its licences following the Supreme Court order cancelling 122 telecom licences issued in 2008, Wednesday appealed to the government to allow the company to function till the time auction of the 2G licences takes place afresh.


Over 600 employees, who, along with their families, gathered at Jantar Mantar here, said their future was at stake. A smaller group also proceeded to the offices of Communications Minister Kapil Sibal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thereafter.


"Sir, this situation will adversely impact the employment and opportunity to earn livelihood of thousands of people who are working for Uninor," the employees said in a letter addressed to the the Prime Minister and Communications Minister.


"Also, we fear that in such a situation, Uninor would not be able to participate in the auction, as everyone wants it to," they added.


The employees were referring to the Supreme Court order cancelling 122 telecom licences issued in 2008 including 22 licences of Uninor in February and asked the affected firms to shut shops in four months.


The apex court also ordered the government to conduct an auction of the licences within that time. However, the government has stated that it shall not be in a position to conduct the auction in the prescribed time limit and has sought an extension saying the entire process will take 400 days.


This would require firms like Uninor to halt their operations after June 2 till the time an auction takes place.


The company, which has operations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, all of southern India, Mumbai and some of the the smaller towns of Maharashtra and Gujarat, mostly caters


to the poorer sections of the society.


Uninor, a joint venture between Norway's Telenor and India-based Unitech, has almost 40 million subscribers.


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