26 years of mobile telephony in India: Sunil Bharti Mittal again asks govt to resolve 2 key issues

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July 31, 2020 5:44 PM

Sunil Bharti Mittal, who runs India’s second biggest telecom company, has made a fresh pitch to the government, seeking its help to lower taxes and levies on the telecom industry.

This isn’t the first time that Sunil Mittal has sought government intervention to help turn the fortunes of the telecom industry.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, who runs India’s second biggest telecom company, has made a fresh pitch to the government, seeking its help to lower taxes and levies on the telecom industry. “Taxes have generally been very high on this industry. It is important that this is reviewed thoroughly and telecom resources like spectrum, levies should not become a source for the exchequer, but should become a force multiplier in ensuring economic momentum becomes faster and gets accelerated,” he said at an event organised by Cellular Operators Association of India and IMC Studio on the occasion of 25th Anniversary of Mobile Telephony’ in India. This isn’t the first time that Sunil Mittal has sought government intervention to help turn the fortunes of the telecom industry.

Earlier, in Bharti Airtel’s annual report, Sunil Mittal had pointed out how the telecom industry is being bogged down by lower tariff rates and higher taxes. The chairman of Bharti Airtel also said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat has given a clarion call to the industry which now looks to ensure that more value addition is done in India for telecom networks, mobile devices, and software. Bringing attention to the battered telecom sector, Sunil Mittal said that the telecom industry has had its ups and downs and hence must be given due attention in the area of levies and taxes.

While the telecom sector has been doing comparatively better than other industries which have been struggling to stay afloat due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sector is ridden with its own set of issues. The entry of Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio compelled other players in the industry to lower their tariff rates as well and to date, India is one of the worst performers in terms of ARPU or average revenue per user. Moreover, the burden of AGR dues has also dragged the telecom players down.

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