The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) committee, set up by communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal, has recommended that 773 acres of surplus land held by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (now Tata Communications Ltd) should be demerged into a separate real estate company.
The report has also said DoT is in the process of appointing a consultant to handle the issue. The consultant would also advice whether a change in land use is possible.
Currently, the land allotted to the company, is for the specific purpose of conducting IT and telecom-related activities. The committee is headed by S R Rao, an additional secretary in DoT. It submitted its report on April 21. I
In response to the development, a Tata spokesperson said, "The Tata Communication board had considered a draft scheme of demerger of surplus land in April 2005 but a decision was deferred till the DoT and the Tata Group agreed on certain issues. Subsequently DoT informed Tata Communications that they were seeking instruction within the government. Tata Communications welcomes any progress in resolving the surplus land issue at the earliest."
The Tatas had objected to hiving off the land into a separate company, saying it will have financial implications due to capital gains tax and stamp duty.