Bharti Airtel boss Sunil Mittal says telecom taxed like tobacco; high GST, fees hurting Modi’s Digital India

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Published: October 25, 2018 2:11:38 PM

India Mobile Congress 2018: India’s telecom sector attracts high levies just “like tobacco industries” and this issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal said Thursday.

India Mobile Congress 2018: India’s telecom sector attracts high levies, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal said.

India Mobile Congress 2018: India’s telecom sector attracts high levies just “like tobacco industries” and this issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal said Thursday. High spectrum, GST and license charges are the biggest roadblocks to Modi ‘Digital India’ mission, he added. Speaking at the inaugural session of India Mobile Congress 2018, Mittal also said, “There is also one overarching objective of previous policy and also enshrined in NDCP that revenue maximisation is not the objective…Then why operators and Department of Telecom are under litigation for revenue maximisation.”

There is a consolidation in the telecom space globally and in India too, there was a need for consolidation in the sector, he expressed. Since this industry is capital intensive, the companies need new deal which encourages the industry to roll out new technology, he added. Thespectrum charges need to become more reasonable and affordable, he also said.

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Meanwhile, at the same event, Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani expressed confidence in country’s data-led growth and said digital revolution would help meet four ambitious goals of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, namely – doubling farmers’ income, Ayushman Bharat Scheme, quality education and employment generation. “With world-class digital infrastructure in place… India is now ready to not only embrace… but actually lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is because, each one of the 130 crore people of India… can now productively participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We can solve the largest unsolved problems facing humanity… right here in India,” he said.

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