1. Government aware of concerns around balance sheet: Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha

Government aware of concerns around balance sheet: Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha

Telecom minister Manoj Sinha today said the government is aware of stress related to balance sheet of telecom operators and is working around it.

By: | Published: May 30, 2017 11:41 PM
Telecom industry, Manoj Sinha, telecom operators, inter-ministerial panel, India Mobile Congress, Reliance Communications, investment opportunities, future technologies, COAI, GSMA Barcelona, IT, sustainable Wi-fi, smart cities, GSMA Barcelona There are certain concerns around the balance sheet of some companies…The government is aware of it and has constituted a inter-ministerial panel to debate all the issues. (Image: PTI)

Telecom minister Manoj Sinha today said the government is aware of stress related to balance sheet of telecom operators and is working around it. “The growth is happening. There are certain concerns around the balance sheet of some companies…The government is aware of it and has constituted a inter-ministerial panel to debate all the issues. The panel has already held its first meeting,” Sinha said at curtain raiser event of the India Mobile Congress today. The telecom industry has started requesting for a bail- out package for mobile operators whose balance sheets are now heading south.

Telecom operator Reliance Communications has not been able to service debt obligations and has sought time from lenders till September-end to make payment. Sinha appreciated efforts of private telecom players and said the Indian telecom sector is a success story with lots of growth opportunities. He said the India Mobile Congress will open up investment opportunities in the country’s telecom sector and lead to new avenues in future technologies.

“We have been feeling the need to hold such an event in India for a long time. We hope that like the Mobile World Congress, this event too will establish its significance in the coming days,” Sinha said. India is all set to host its own mobile mega show ‘India Mobile Congress’ from September 27-29 to showcase the country’s growing prowess in the global telecom market. The event to be held in New Delhi is being billed as India’s answer to high profile and marquee mobile shows that are held annually in markets like Shanghai and Barcelona.

Countries like the US, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Korea, the Phillippines, Bhutan and Japan have evinced interest in participating and creating awareness around the upcoming event, COAI director general Rajan Mathews said. “We have GSMA Barcelona that focuses primarily on the West…We never had a marquee event here that showcases the opportunities in India. The South East Asia region has much to learn from what is happening in India on the policy front and manufacturing…how we share infrastructure and how we provide affordable services,” Mathews said.

India’s experiences with regard to mobile payment, e- health and e-education have a global relevance, he said adding that the event would also highlight the country’s innovation, skill base and the startup ecosystem. Indian Cellular Association National President Pankaj Mohindroo said the mobile industry was also planning a global event for handset companies at the end of this year but it will now advance the dates of the event so that it coincides with India Mobile Congress.

“Our vision is that 40 per cent of global mobile phones should be made in India. 80 companies in the field of mobile manufacturing have set up their plants in India. Now we have decided to move World Mobile manufacturing conclave along with India Mobile Congress so that it looks like a National Event,” Mohindroo said. The Department of Telecom and the Ministry of Electronics and IT have thrown their weight behind the event which is being organised by the industry association COAI and K AND D Communications.

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The ‘India Mobile Congress’ with special focus on reaching out to the Asian markets will see technology titans converge to offer a peek into the digital future. The conference at the upcoming event will have special emphasis on topics like Internet governance, 5G, sustainable Wi-fi, smart cities and smart governance and Internet of Things and Machine to Machine Communication.

India Mobile Congress is expected to see the participation of telecom giants like Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, as well as telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. The three-day event is expected to draw 5,000 paid participants and 800 exhibitors. Countries like the US, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Korea, the Philippines, Bhutan and Japan have evinced interest in participating and creating awareness around the upcoming event, COAI director general Rajan Mathews said.

“We have GSMA Barcelona that focuses primarily on the West…We never had a marquee event here that showcases the opportunities in India. The South East Asia region has much to learn from what is happening in India on the policy front and manufacturing…how we share infrastructure and how we provide affordable services,” Mathews said. India’s experiences with regard to mobile payment, e- health and e-education have a global relevance, he said adding that the event would also highlight the country’s innovation, skill base and the start up ecosystem.

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