TRAI Chairman Meets Vodafone Idea CEO, Other Industry Officials To Identify Priority Issues For 2020
Amid ongoing turbulence in the telecom sector, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman RS Sharma on Wednesday met heads of telecom companies, including Vodafone Idea Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Ravinder Takkar, to identify priority issues that will be taken up by the regulator in 2020.
Sources said that floor price and redefining adjusted gross revenue were among key issues that were flagged by the industry representatives at the meeting. A section of the industry wanted TRAI to initiate a consultation on these issues to address industry's woes.
The meeting assumes significance as the debt-laden and loss-making sector is reeling under massive financial stress, compounded by demand for Rs 1.47 lakh crore in unpaid statutory dues following a ruling by the Supreme Court last month.
Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel Ltd. and others are staring at massive statutory payouts after the Supreme Court upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual AGR of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer.
When contacted, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma told PTI, "we had a general discussion on issues to identify the priority areas for the next calendar year".
"The industry had given their inputs prior to the meeting and TRAI also had identified some issues. So, we deliberated on both these lists and got inputs from industry on their thoughts. We have asked industry to give their written submissions on specific matters," Sharma said.
TRAI will finalise a list of 6-7 issues that will be taken up by the regulator in coming year, he said.
Sharma, however, refused to comment on the specific matters that came up for discussion. However, industry sources said floor price and redefinition of AGR figured prominently in the discussions that were held at TRAI on Wednesday.