Airtel chief wants telecom levies rationalised
The government must look at rationalising levies on the telecom sector and close long standing legal disputes that are a big drag on the performance of operators, in order to ensure industry viability with a 3+1 player structure, Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal has said.
Mittal in his message to shareholders in the company’s latest annual report said, while it is clear that the “worst may be behind for India’s telecom industry”, it is yet to emerge from the woods.
“India still has some of the lowest data tariffs globally and the industry is barely able to cover the cost of capital. It requires much more support to repair the deep damage to its finances and make it viable for telecom operators to invest in future technologies,” Mittal said in the company’s annual report for 2019-20.
Exhorting the government to “look into the urgent needs of operators”, Mittal said that although the recent tariff increase had provided some cushion, the sector is still way below the levels to make the industry viable.
“The government must also look at rationalising the levies on the sector and close long standing legal disputes that are a big drag on performance of operators,” he said.
He added: “These urgent interventions will ensure that we have a viable industry with 3+1 structure.
Mittal said that world is in the midst of an “unprecedented crisis” in form of the Covid-19 pandemic that has caused widespread disruption.