Wednesday, 11 December 2019

India disbands committee after it fails to deliver telecoms bailout package

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Tuesday 26 November 19

An Indian government official has said that the country's telcos should not expect any further concessions, despite the harsh market conditions

The Indian government has disbanded the Committee of Secretaries it set up to explore the possibility of a relief package for the country's beleaguered telecoms sector, despite no package being agreed. A report in The Economic Times of India…

The Indian government has disbanded the Committee of Secretaries it set up to explore the possibility of a relief package for the country's beleaguered telecoms sector, despite no package being agreed.

A report in The Economic Times of India, quoted a government official as saying that telcos should not expect any further concessions.  

“They have been given a two-year moratorium (from spectrum payment), they’ve got relief of Rs 42,000 crore,” the official said. The official also confirmed that the Committee of Secretaries had now been officially disbanded.

Earlier this month, the CEO of Vodafone Group, Nick Read, said that the Committee of Secretaries must deliver a significant relief package to signal to the industry that it was committed to creating a competitive and thriving telecoms sector in the country. Read said that the very survival of his company's Indian joint venture, Vodafone-Idea, was contingent upon the delivery of a significant relief package.

"I'm very clear about what the requirements are for us to be a sustainable business going forward. So, when I use the word critical, I mean critical!"

"To be very clear: if you don't get the remedies that you are looking for and the situation is critical in terms of [existing as] a going concern," he said.

In addition to the 2 year moratorium on spectrum payments, Read also asked for lower licence fees and taxes, as well s the option to pay off the recent AGR payments (almost $4bn for Vodafone Idea) over a ten year period. As things stand, Vodafone Idea will receive neither of these additional requests.

Also in the news

Bharti Airtel loses 3m subscribers as a result of India's Kashmir crackdown

Anil Ambani quits as RCom chairman

India's DoT serves telcos with a 3 month deadline for AGR dues

Since you're here...

...the Telecoms industry is characterised by constant change and evolution. That's why it's crucial for telecoms professionals to keep up-to-date with what is happening. Join 35,000+ of your peers and sign up to our free newsletter service today, to be in the know about what is going on. PLUS, as a member you can submit your own press releases!

See all membership options

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Newsletter signup

Quickly get on board and up to date with the telecoms industry