Lunes, 10 Diciembre, 2018

Telecom minister Manoj Sinha meets Sunil Mittal, Anil Ambani, promises 'corrective steps'

TRAI Introduces New Policies for Predatory Pricing TRAI Introduces New Policies for Predatory Pricing
Montez Delgado | 23 Junio, 2017, 10:26

The final round of discussions between telecom service providers and the telecom ministry on the steps to ease out the financial stress of the sector concluded on Thursday. Mittal said an operator with a "strong balance sheet" was shaking up the industry and referred to what happened in 1996, when policy reforms had to be put in place to revive the sector, according to the people cited above.

The much-awaited meeting between telecom companies and the government was held today in New Delhi.

"The report of the inter-ministerial group (IMG) will come soon..."

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Officials from various telcos on Thursday met Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha and discussed the issue of resolving the debt crisis in the industry.

"The necessary corrective steps will be taken by the government for ensuring orderly growth in the sector in terms of services to the common man, including in rural areas", the minister told reporters after the two-hour meeting.

Department of Financial Services and State Bank of India officials were also present in the meeting. They also warned that the sector is staring at a deficit of Rs 80,000-90,000 crore after taking into account the interest payments, loan repayments and capex requirements. Telenor Group, Chief Technology Officer, Morten Sorby, and newly appointed Telecom Secretary, Aruna Sundararajan and Reliance Jio Infocomm board member, Mahendra Nahata also attended the meeting. Jio representatives said EBITDA margins in the industry are close to 30 per cent, which is the highest across various industries.

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They also urged for increasing the moratorium on spectrum payment as well as the tenure of instalments. Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani met the minister but did not join the meeting.

The incumbent operators and Jio differed sharply over the contentious issue of call connect charges, with the newcomer favouring removal of these rates and incumbents demanding an increase in the current rate of 14 paise/minute.

Carriers in India's telecoms sector have been hurt by a price war eating into revenues and profit.

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All operators agreed that licence fee and spectrum usage charges should be lowered as part of rationalisation to reflect only administrative cost since spectrum is now acquired through auctions.

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