“We have given all the opening for doing business, but no one should dictate terms on us,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Telecom Min Ravi Shankar Prasad slams Vodafone for threatening to exit India
Money Telecom Crisis Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 16:15

Union Minister for Telecommunications Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed his displeasure over the comment from Vodafone that the company may consider pulling out of India following the Supreme Court of India judgement on the AGR case. Prasad said nobody can dictate terms to India and that this is a sovereign country and had its right to make its own decisions.

"I don't appreciate this kind of statement, firmly and clearly. We have given all the options of doing business, but no one should dictate terms to us. India is a sovereign country," Prasad reportedly said at the Times Network's India Economic Conclave.

The Minister was answering questions at the India Economic Conclave being held at Mumbai, organised by Times Network.

Answering another question, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the two public sector telecom companies, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited (MTNL) will continue to operate, as they are strategic assets and they will have to gear themselves to remain competitive.

Sticking with the telecom sector, and the fallout of the Supreme Court order which has meant the telecom companies have to pay a total of Rs 1.40 lakh crore, the Minister said the government had accommodated to the tune of Rs 42,000 crore in respect of spectrum repayment period by deferment of the schedule.

“We have done our best for the private sector. They wanted two things which we have done namely- from 10 installment from spectrum charge we have extended to 16 and all the spectrum installment from 2021-22 and other two years have been now completely put on hold giving them a cool benefit of Rs 42,000 crores,” he reportedly said.

He said it is the responsibility of the telecom operators to offer flawless service to their customers by investing in the right technologies. 

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