The present financial pressure on telecom industry of India is provisional and there are no major job losses, a top administrator claimed. He further added that the government is optimistic about the forecast of the segment in the long or medium term given the increasing need for data. “The present condition is a provisional phenomenon. We have not even started to take actions in terms of data. Data detonation has just started. The long-term and medium-term prospects of the segment are very healthy,” Aruna Sundararajan, the telecom secretary, claimed to the media at a panel conversation last week at the India Economic Summit 2017.
She claimed that the government was known of financial stress in the segment but will not interfere further than a point. “The government will play the role of an enabler and guarantee that it is a balanced field. The remaining will be left to the market companies. But there is sufficient for everybody to develop.” Sundararajan also dismissed worries of huge scale losses of job after reports that almost 100,000 jobs are set to leave since the industry combines and some firms close down or shrink operations. “There is consolidation. Companies are making an attempt to merge. Companies are claiming that there is financial stress, but no one is claiming that there is great joblessness in the industry,” claimed Sundararajan.
The telecom segment, grappling below a burden of almost Rs 5 Lakh Crore of loan and in the middle of an atrocious cost competition, has been looking for government sops for some monetary relief.
The government is ready to elevate deadline for costs for auctioned airwaves as well as reduce interest to be given on penalties. But the industry needs more in the shape reduced spectrum usage charges and yearly license fees, among others. “India is the quickest digitizing country and starving for digitization. But there is a huge demand that needs to be carried out in terms of building data super highways and highways,” Sundararajan claimed.
She highlighted to the BharatNet project below which 75,000 Gram Panchayats have already been connected via a network of optic fiber.