“The telecom industry needs to have the right economic model. We have played this game by growing the industry at a minimal pricing level for far too long,” Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal warned in a call with analysts on the company’s decision to raise Rs. 21,000 crore via rights issue. He added that people in India consume 16 GB data on average and it is time to make the industry viable by raising tariffs. We are happy to take small baby steps which could even be the first in the industry. We will not shy away from doing it. Some of our new plans are a testimony to the fact that we have run out of patience and we have taken the first step — Sunil Mittal in his reply to an investor question on tariffs. Mittal also bemoaned the lack of government support to the industry as 35 percent of telecom revenues is earmarked for servicing government levies. “We expect the government to respond by having lighter touch regulations and making life simple for telecom companies. The levies are far too high,” Mittal urged. He also batted for having three private players in India. The telecom industry is on thin ice in India because many years of competitive pricing have affected the bottom line of most telco companies. The AGR ruling by the Supreme Court of India plunged the sector into further financial stress after it created a liability of dues worth Rs 1.4 lakh crore. Why is Airtel raising…
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