Vodafone chief meets Telecom Minister, seeks fair application of GST

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 13, 2016

Vittorio Colao, CEO

Vodafone Group Chief Executive Officer Vittorio Colao, who was on a whirlwind trip to Delhi on Thursday, met Communications Minister Manoj Sinha, and sought a level playing field and a fair application of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other levies.

“Since an affordable telecom service is essential for digital inclusion of rural India, we requested a predictable policy regime with a level playing field and a fair application of GST and other levies,” Colao said.

The Vodafone Chief will be in Mumbai on Friday.

“I met the Minister to thank him and the government for introducing several progressive policies and practices over the last couple of years, including the first mega spectrum auction, which will enable us to quickly roll out 4G services and offer the Vodafone SuperNet experience in more circles,” Coloa said.

He also said Vodafone has reaffirmed its commitment to India and to supporting the Government’s thrust on financial inclusion by expanding its M-pesa service.

Vodafone has been expressing concerns on issues such as telecom spectrum pricing or tariff pricing. In an interaction with BusinessLine during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, Colao had said that ‘the pricing of spectrum should not reflect on the internal capital of the Indian market, given the fact the tariff is very low in India’.

“There must be a proportionate cost for spectrum and the economic condition of the country. There should always be a return on investment,” he had said.

The company has indicated that it will come out with an IPO for its Indian business. Colao had said that “…there are many moving parts, so it (listing) could be by the end of this year or maybe next year.”

Vodafone India had acquired spectrum in all its key telecom circles for a total of ₹20,280 crore. The new spectrum will significantly enhance the coverage, capacity and speed of 4G data services in its key circles, complementing existing high-quality 2G and 3G voice and data capabilities, it had said.

The company has 17 circles with 4G capability, covering 90 per cent of its total revenues and 94 per cent of mobile data revenues.

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Published on October 13, 2016
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