Rising rates good for customers, to increase government revenue, create jobs: COAI

New Delhi, December 2 () The increase in the price of mobile calls and Internet tariffs is beneficial for customers, will boost government revenue collection and help create jobs by improving the financial health of the sector, said the Association of Cellular Operators of the telecommunications industry of India. Monday.

Telecommunications operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have announced that they will increase mobile calls and Internet prices for prepaid customers by 50 percent from December 3, while Reliance Jio has said it will launch new plans with fees 40 percent higher on December 6.

This (rate increase) will be for the benefit of customers, government and industry. From the clients' perspective, these rates will allow operators to make the necessary and necessary improvements in the telecommunications network that has been languishing due to the financial stress in. In the next short period, we should begin to see an improvement in experience and customer services, said COAI Director General, Rajan Mathews.

This is the first rise in the last five years in the telecommunications space of the country facing a tariff war, with voice calls that became almost free in 2016 and a sharp 95 percent drop in data prices to Rs 11.78 per GB currently Rs 269 per GB in 2014.

Starting Tuesday, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea customers will have to pay a minimum of 49 rupees to make calls, access the Internet on their mobile and stay connected for four weeks.

Mathews said that due to a decrease in mobile service rates, government revenues have also declined.

We believe this will help the government in its collection at a time when government collections are being questioned, he said.

According to official data, the gross revenues of the telecommunications sector fell around Rs 41,000 crore in three years due to a drop in mobile service rates.

The gross revenues of the telecommunications sector in 2016-17 were Rs 2.65 lakh crore, which had been reduced to Rs 2.46 lakh crore a year later and then to Rs 2.24 lakh crore in 2018-19.

Adjusted gross income, on which the government obtains income, also decreased around Rs 46,000 crore during the same period.

Mathews said the industry has been in crisis and that the rate hike will bring the necessary financial means to allow them to make investments.

He said that the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of digital India requires more than USD 100 billion in foreign investments in the country and that the new rate will help the sector attract foreign funds and help national banks to grant loans to the industry .

This will help operators start hiring again. We have been losing employees due to our inability to retain them. In addition, because several operators have gone out of business. With this particular movement, we see that financial health improves. This means better compensation for employees, better purchasing power for them, Mathews said.

The CEO of the Telecommunications Sector Skills Council, Lieutenant General S P Kochhar, said the rate increase will provide companies to invest in the expansion of the fiber optic network and the deployment of telecommunications networks. According to our estimates, four people will be required at each level of gram panchayat to maintain telecommunications networks. Fiber placement is a necessity for the country and will create jobs in the field. However, in the long term, we see the need for high-end jobs in the telecommunications sector and most manual jobs will be automated or outsourced, Kochhar said. PRS HRS

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