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Tariff hike to boost govt revenue collection, improve financial health of telecom sector: COAI

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director-General Rajan Mathews has said that hike in the price of mobile calls and internet rates by the telecom operators is beneficial for customers, will boost government revenue collection and help in generating jobs by improving financial health of the sector. From customers’ perspective, he said these tariffs will enable operators to do required and necessary improvements in the telecom network which has been languishing because of financial stress in the sector.

Mathews said ‘in the upcoming short period, we should begin to see improvement in customer experience and services.’ He pointed out that this is the first hike in the past five years in the country’s telecom space that was facing tariff war, with voice calls becoming almost free in 2016 and steep 95 percent fall in data prices to Rs 11.78 per GB at present from Rs 269 per GB in 2014. He believed that this will help the government in its collection at a time when collections of the government are being challenged.

He further said the industry has been in doldrums and the hike in tariff will bring needed financial wherewithal to enable them to make investments. He noted that the government’s vision of Digital India requires over $100 billion worth of foreign investments into the country and the new tariff will help the sector in attracting foreign funds and help domestic banks in lending to the industry. He noted that this will help operators to begin to hire again.

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