The writer is director & chief executive, ICRIER. Views are personal.
When the Supreme Court adjudicated on the definition of adjusted gross revenue, it was in no mood to give the benefit of doubt to telecom operators, even for legitimate reasons.
If the SC judgment sticks, competition will remain debilitated. Moreover, the demands that governments make of the telecom sector could be an enormous burden for Jio alone. Sometimes, to win the war one has to lose the battle. This is a battle well worth losing for Jio.
Worried about the future of the public sector entities, the government has crafted a revival plan, including a merger of BSNL and MTNL. In management jargon, the merger could potentially unlock synergies, but unfortunately there appear none on the telecom horizon.
A question uppermost on trade economists’ minds is whether the WTO is worth saving. One way to evaluate the question is to investigate its achievements, with the obvious caveat that the past is an imperfect guide to the future.
Unfortunately, the revenue enthusiasm of the private entrants was belied, not least because tariffs for the new services were set at impossibly high levels. The Rs 156 per month rental and Rs 16.80 per peak minute tariffs encouraged subscription but not usage. Revenues did not materialise and besides, the incumbent public sector monopoly made life hard for the private sector entrants.
India is at a crossroads: It can pursue a carbon-intensive development agenda with huge health implications.
Trais recommendations attempt to correct past errors.