FDI in telecom sector down 43 per cent to USD 2.6 bn in 2018-19: RS Prasad

PTI New Delhi | Updated on June 26, 2019 Published on June 26, 2019

Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT & Telecom Minister   -  BusinessLine

The Minister did not attribute any specific reason for the decline in investment

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Indian telecom sector dropped by around 43 per cent to USD 2.6 billion in fiscal year 2018-19, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.

“The FDI equity inflow in the Financial Year 2017-18 was USD 6,211.84 million, whereas the FDI equity inflow in the Financial Year 2018-19 was USD 2,667.91 million,” Prasad said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. He added that the quantum and nature of FDI inflows depend on many factors and accordingly no specific reasons can be attributed for increase or decrease of inflows on year-to-year basis.

“There has been neither a regulatory uncertainty nor the lack of conducive environment to invest in the Telecom Sector which may be cited as a reason for the year-to-year decline in FDI. Stressed financial conditions, if any, cannot be held responsible for year-to-year decline,” Prasad said. He said according to an inter-ministerial group report submitted on August 31, 2017, the total debt of the telecom industry was Rs 7.88 lakh crore.

In a separate reply, the Minister said the telecom sector is facing financial stress due to stiff competition and reduction in tariffs. The gross revenue of two private operators Airtel and Vodafone Idea has also reduced in financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Published on June 26, 2019
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