In the telecom equipment business, the government has said that the companies of countries that do not open the market for Indian companies will be allowed to do business in India. This decision has come under the Government Purchase Order, 2017. The move will encourage ‘Make in India’ by promoting local manufacturers.
The telecom equipment market is quite large. This includes the purchase and purchase of equipment connected to Wi-Fi, fixed lines, cellular networks and 5G services. The Department of Telecommunications has issued a notice to all government departments in this regard.
According to the notice, no foreign government which does not give the opportunity to Indian telecom vendors to compete in its market, should not deal with its telecom vendors. If the nodal agency finds that Indian companies have not been given a place in the procurement process by a country, it can either bid out or disqualify its companies. In the case of telecom equipment, the Department of Telecommunications acts as the nodal agency.
AGR is an unprecedented crisis for the telecom sector
Sunil Mittal, chairman of leading telecom company Bharti Airtel, described AGR as an unprecedented crisis for the telecom sector. According to the IANS report, Mittal met Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday and urged for tax exemption for the sector.
Telecom companies have been demanding tax exemption for a long time. The worst affected Vodafone Idea has demanded a bailout package. However, the government has very limited options in this matter. For this, some deductions can be made in spectrum fees and license fees. Apart from this, some reduction in interest and fine is also possible.
Sources say that the government is also trying to balance in this matter. However, there has been no direct indication from the government. Significantly, Airtel owes Rs 35,500 crore under the AGR. Out of this, she has already given 10,000 crores. The company has said that it will pay the remaining balance before the next hearing of the Supreme Court.