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Wednesday 8 April 2020

Telecom players complain of difficulty in doing business

Start-up telecom companies demanded that low-cost finance be made available to them and the government help to ease financial compliance rules

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New Delhi: Telecom firms said on Monday the government needed to provide them a level playing field in public projects and lower levies for ‘ease of doing business’. They also sought permits in a time-bound manner.

“Today, start-up firms raised their issue before government representative, demanding that they be given an opportunity to participate in public projects,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan S Mathews told reporters after a roundtable on ease of doing business in the telecom sector.

“They said that tender conditions ask for high turnover and experience which they are unable to meet,” Mathews added.

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ramesh Abhishek represented the government at the meeting that was co-hosted by Invest India and India Mobile Congress.

Mathews said start-ups also demanded that low-cost finance be made available to them and the government help to ease financial compliance rules. He further said that established player like Vodafone and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) raised issues of telecom operators related high levies and low return.

“The draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018 proposes to address most of the telecom operators issue to achieve $100 billion investment but operators want to know by when will it be implemented,” Mathews said. Sundararajan, he said, assured the companies that the issues of telecom sector will be addressed in time bound manner by 2022 as mentioned in the draft.

“DIPP secretary said that the government is now strictly looking to push Indian companies under ‘Make in India’, ‘Start-up India’ and taking action on tenders that are overlooking them. Both the secretaries said that all the issues that have been raised by companies will be looked at,” Mathews added.

The COAI had complained in February that the rules framed by the Union government for the telecom sector were not getting implemented at the local level for network rollout.

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