Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal. (Reuters)
Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal. (Reuters)

Telecom sector under stress for 3.5 yrs; govt needs to focus on its sustainability: Sunil Mittal

  • Sunil Mittal said Airtel has already announced its plans to pay the dues that arose from the apex court ruling
  • The company has paid 10,000 crore out of its estimated liability of over 35,000 crore

NEW DELHI : Bharti Airtel boss Sunil Bharti Mittal on Wednesday said the telecom sector has been under stress for the last three-and-a-half years and the government should focus on its sustainability.

Emerging out of the North Block after meeting top finance ministry officials, he told reporters that the issue of pending dues arising out of the Supreme Court ruling on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) was not discussed.

The telecom industry, he said, is vital to the nation and the digital agenda of the government.

"The only thing government needs to do is to focus on how to ensure sustainability of the sector," he said without elaborating.

He said Airtel has already announced its plans to pay the dues that arose from the apex court ruling.

The company has paid 10,000 crore out of its estimated liability of over 35,000 crore.

Mittal, who had first met the telecom secretary prior to going to the finance ministry, said the company is calculating its liability.

Vodafone Idea Chairman Kumar Managalam Birla, who had met the telecom secretary on Tuesday, also met finance ministry officials.

It was not clear if they met the officials together or separately.

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