Don’t take telecom sector for granted: Sunil Mittal

Don’t take telecom sector for granted: Sunil Mittal

New Delhi: Exuding confidence that the spectrum controversy would have no bearing on the growth of telecom, leading operator Bharti Airtel, however, cautioned today that the sector should not be taken for granted.

“Telecom is a very capital intensive sector and we need serious commitment of investment in the sector for its development... I can only say that lets don’t take this sector for granted," Bharti group chairman Sunil Mittal told reporters on the occasion to mark the crossing of 200-million subscriber base, across 19 countries it operates in.

Asked if any kind of policy change now can hurt his firm, Mittal said, “We are subject for all regulatory policies. We subject ourselves to whatever policy change."

He, however, refused to make any comment on whether the new licences, which have been declared ineligible by the government auditor CAG, should be cancelled.

Bharti Airtel is the largest telecom firm in the country with a subscriber base of about 150 million in India.

The Indian telecom sector is in turmoil over allegations against the former telecom minister A Raja for allocating 2-G spectrum (radio waves) in 2008, at the 2001 price of Rs1,651 crore, benefiting some telecom players.

According to CAG report the decision of the minister cost the exchequer a “presumptive loss" of up to Rs1.76 lakh crore.