COAI wait for SC clarity on AGR, with thin duopoly possibility

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New Delhi, Jan 16 | While the telecom industry awaits with bated breath on the outcome of their review petitions in the Supreme Court on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) plea on Thursday, the possibility of a duopoly — meaning the exit of any operator though still hangs.

Though it has been substantially diminished following some steps taken recently by both the government and the industry.

“Lets see what the SC says on AGR review pleas. Today as things stand, it (the possibility of any operator exiting India) is minimal but it is still there because of all these companies are public companies and they are accountable to the public money invested.

“But Government has told us it is not interested in a duopoly. Industry has hinted they too are not interested in a duopoly. Something dramatic has to happen to push through such resolves.

“However, three to four months ago, the picture was more bleak and there was much higher probability of someone exiting.

“Now with the new tariff increases, proposed IUC (network connection charges) staying in place and the consideration for a floor price, operators today are seeing much more of positive dimension approaching and support happening.

“All these would not have happened without government support. The danger of duopoly has substantially diminished and now it needs to be seen what comes out of the AGR decisions and how it impacts the industry.

“Our understanding is the DoT is keen to help, once the court clarifies. They have also given the moratorium for spectrum dues payments,” Rajan Mathews, Director General of industry body COAI told IANS.

Mathews further said AGR should now be abolished since there is upfront payment on spectrum purchase and is high time to lower the licence fee and spectrum usage charges to combine 1 per cent of the total revenue from 8 per cent.

Vodafone Idea Ltd chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla had said that he might have to stop operations if the company did not receive any relief from the government following the Supreme Court order to pay dues of Rs 92,000 crore to the government related to the AGR issue from Airtel and VIL. Voda Idea has to pay additional AGR liability at Rs 44,200 crore and Airtel has RS 35,500 crore dues.

The Supreme Court will on Thursday take up in-chambers the petitions seeking review of its verdict on the AGR, which allowed Centre’s plea to recover Rs 92,000 crore from telecom companies.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justices S.A. Nazeer and M.R. Shah will consider the review petitions of the telecom operators, though, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel had sought an open court hearing on their pleas. The current deadline to pay the amount is January 23.

Anticipating the worst, both the companies have raised funds to meet the liabilities. While Airtel has raised $3 billion in debt and equity, Vodafone idea has tweaked its Rights issue proceeds clause to be able to use the funds to partly meet the statutory dues.

(Anjana Das can be contacted at anjana.d@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign "AapKiSideHai"

Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign

Akshay Kumar delivers the brand’s promise of always being on the customer’s side

Gurugram, 19th Sept, 2020: Policybazaar.com (Twitter handle: PolicyBazaar), India’s largest online insurance marketplace with over 10 million customers, showcases its commitment to customers in its new television campaign “AapKiSideHai”. The new ad campaign featuring Policybazaar brand ambassador, Akshay Kumar, highlights the brand’s promise of embracing a holistic customer centric approach while helping to bridge the insurance protection gap in India.

Policybazaar’sAapKiSideHai campaign seeks to reassure its customers on being a dependable Insurance partner for them, every step of the way. The brand has always focused on distributing products like term insurance, health insurance, zero commission ULIP’s and motor insurance that are optimal from a customer perspective. Policybazaar is now extending the brand promise beyond the purchase experience to ensure that consumers get the highest levels of service throughout the policy lifecycle.

The new brand campaign reinforces Policybazaar core value of putting the customer first by delivering on its promise of providing a trusted platform for all types of insurance products. The brand is committed to guiding the customer throughout the insurance journey, starting from recommending the right products at affordable pricing, ensuring thatthe policy issuance process is smooth and fast, and, to providing services and claims assistance when needed.

“While we continue to highlight the importance of Health & Term life Insurance through our marketing campaigns, with the brand promise of Policybazaar AapKiSideHai, we also intend to position Policybazaar as a customer centric brand, that is committed to stand by its customers, both pre and post purchase”, said Samir Sethi, Head of Brand Marketing, Policybazaar.com. The new ad series highlights Policybazaar’s unparalleled support to customers, while providing them with the ease of comparing and buying term and health plans online with guidance at each & every step.

Speaking about the TVC launch, Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, Policybazaar.com said, “Our ultimate aim is to provide 360-degree assistance to customers that starts from when the policy is bought, to provide assistance when the claim is paid out, should such a situation arise. Winning and maintaining customer trust is a strong ethos within the company and this campaign reflects that. At a time when the world is grappling with a crisis like no other, the brand intends to instill confidence in the customers’ buying decisions by assuring them protection of their futures with the right insurance products & thorough assistance throughout the journey.”

The new brand campaign in its series displays moments of indecision that people may have while investing in protection products. It addresses these queries &emphasizes the importance of nurturing a bond with the consumers thereby creating customer delight.

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