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, 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.