“Trai finally floated a consultation paper on tariffs, that was our request and we are glad that they have heeded to the request of the industry,” Mittal stated, after rising from a two-hour assembly with commerce and trade minister Piyush Goyal. His feedback come a day after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) floated a session paper on whether or not to set a flooring and a ceiling for voice and information providers.
On being requested his views on Trai’s level that it might be troublesome to manage solely information charges, and never voice, and usher in a tariff ceiling to guard customers, Mittal stated, “They need to bring some sanity and orderliness in the telecom industry, so we are happy with whatever they decide”. India’s three personal telcos — Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio — have sought a flooring for information tariffs, however don’t desire voice to be regulated.
But Trai questioned the telcos’ demand. “Regulating the data tariff in turn regulates the voice tariff, at least on a 4G network. As such, it does not seem logical, on the part of COAI, to request the authority (Trai) to regulate data tariffs by prescribing floor price while keeping voice services under forbearance… This would create a disparity between the service providers providing the same service,” Trai stated.
Jio is the one operator working a pure 4G community whereas the opposite two supply each 2G and 3G providers.
On the problem of the AGR dues, Mittal stated, “We have legal hope”. The firm is awaiting a call on its plea for a partial overview of the over ?35,000 crore statutory dues that it faces after a Supreme Court ruling in October widened the definition of AGR to incorporate non-core gadgets.
Airtel, within the meantime, can be within the means of elevating $three billion through fairness and debt to repay its dues. The firm has stated it has doubts on it persevering with as a going concern if it doesn’t handle to boost funds on its phrases.
Analysts say Trai’s paper on flooring pricing and its transfer to permit telcos to proceed charging interconnect utilization cost (IUC) at 6 paise a minute until finish December 2020 will enhance investor urge for food for the sector.
Citing the weak well being of the sector, Mittal additionally dominated out the opportunity of auctions within the present fiscal. A day earlier, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had stated the auctions could also be held in March-April.
Mittal stated he additionally mentioned with Goyal the problem of the ?36,000 crore enter tax credit score for telcos that has not but been launched by the federal government. “Generally, there are issues around income tax and all which we brought up when amalgamation happens,” he stated, whereas elaborating on different points mentioned on the assembly.
“We have also asked for giving the infrastructure status to tower companies as they are really part of infrastructure,” he stated. Describing the assembly with Goyal as fruitful, Mittal stated, “It is so refreshing to see a minister on top of everything, he had representations from all the ministries with him”.
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