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IUC cut, high taxes, spectrum cost impacting telecom industry: Airtel, Idea

'All of this need to change to realise dream and vision of Digital India,' said Gopal Vittal at India Mobile Congress

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A Bharti Airtel office building is pictured in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi in India. (Photo: Reuters)

Seeking immediate relief for the stressed telecom sector, older operators — Airtel and — on Wednesday slammed high levies, increase in spectrum cost and regulatory norms.

ALSO READ: India Mobile Congress 2017: Get all updates from inaugural edition here "Taxation on the industry is very high. It is in the range of 29-32 per cent. Spectrum cost is one of the highest and tariff is one of the lowest. All of this need to change to realise dream and vision of India," MD and CEO for India and South Asia, Gopal Vittal said at the in New Delhi.

Investment by in the last 2 years has been more than that of the past 20 years put together, he said.

Vittal observed that though mergers and acquisitions are in place, the pace at which these are executed by the is "very low".

He acknowledged that the is involved in easing norms for doing business, but maintained that the industry is facing problems on various fronts.

MD and CEO Himanshu Kapania said recent market developments have drastically altered industry dynamics, resulting in the sector passing through a phase of severe "financial and mental stress".

Terming the regulatory and financial issues being faced by the sector as the "elephant in the room that no one is talking about", Kapania flagged the recent cut in interconnect usage charge (IUC), firm spectrum prices and high levies like licence fee and as big constraints.

First Published: Wed, September 27 2017. 13:10 IST