Mobile tariffs to go up if telcos charged for spectrum says Sunil Mittal

Of late, there has been a debate over the need to charge extra for the spectrum that has been allocated to incumbents like Bharti

Barcelona: Mobile phones are a powerful tool for social transformation in India and the telecom industry needs to maintain affordable tariffs, but rates will have to be raised if operators are made to pay extra for the spectrum, Bharti group chief Sunil Mittal has said, reports PTI.

"We will favour affordable service which should be viable for the industry. This has to be balanced," he said at the Mobile World Congress.

Against the backdrop of Indian telecom industry passing through turbulent times, Mr Mittal said it was a very powerful tool for social transformation and needed a balanced growth. "Who will gain if our business is shut down?"

About uncertainties over the pricing of spectrum, Mr Mittal said, "We have been offering services with lower tariffs when we have not been charged for spectrum. Going ahead, if it [spectrum] is charged, we will also have to charge the customer".

Of late, there has been a debate over the need to charge extra for the spectrum that has been allocated to incumbents like Bharti.

Last month, the Supreme Court cancelled 122 licences of new telecom operators in the 2G spectrum allocation case and asked the government to follow the auction of natural resources to avoid arbitrariness.

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Indian wine for Canadian connoisseurs

The aim of the event is to introduce Indian wines in Canada and also to facilitate interaction between the wine makers, consumers, traders and government authorities

The government is finally taking the wine business seriously. In the coming week, a wide variety of Indian wines will be displayed at multi-brand Indian show in Canada. This is being done to introduce and promote Indian wines and food along with establishing businesses opportunities in the North American country.

Jagdish Holkar, chairman, Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) told Moneylife, “The idea is to promote the pairing of Indian wine and Indian food in Canada. The theme for the event is—‘Wine and Biryani’—wherein brands of various Indian wines would be showcased. This would be followed by a tasting session and grand gala dinner. The event is being organised by the Indian ministry of commerce in association with the High Commission of Canada in India. The event is scheduled on 13th and 14th March in Ottawa, Canada.”

Mr Holkar adds, “Officials from both the countries would be present. The aim of the event is to introduce Indian wines in Canada and also to facilitate interaction between the wine makers, consumers, traders and government authorities. Participants would be introduced to the Indian wine making procedure, the vine culture, etc.”

According to Mr Holkar, who is also attending the event, around 15 Indian wine companies, such as Sula, Four Season, Flamingo, and Valle de Vin, among others will be participating in the event.

Experts point out that the presence of a sizeable Indian diaspora in Canada is key factors thus making it a promising market for Indian wines. “There is huge Indian population in Canada. People in Canada are lot more aware of Indian food with many Indian restaurants. Conducting such programs is a step forward. The Canadian market has good potential for Indian made wines,” says an official associated Mumbai-based wine exporter.

Industry observers have welcomed such efforts taken by the government to promote Indian wines in the international market as well as creating its awareness domestically. For instance, the Karnataka Wine Board is hosting “Karnataka Wine Festival”, from 2dn to 4th March. The aim is to bring wine lovers and makers together. A session on wine appreciation and wine education are also the part of the festival. Wineries, both domestic and international are participating in the event. Karnataka is the second largest state in India, after Maharashtra, in wine production with around 14 wineries.

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Needed: A longer guest list for Kingfisher bash for wooing Twitter critics

Nasty tweets continue against Kingfisher the day after the party held to mollify critics on Twitter

Mumbai Mirror reported that Kingfisher had thrown a party last night for its harshest critics on Twitter. However, the day after, the flood of sarcastic tweets continue unabated.

Kingfisher’s attempt at wooing its critics went well last night, as was said in the news report. Impressed by the show at Bonobo and the performances (and assuming the drinks were on the house), the twitterati had been benevolent with their posts then. However, judging by the barrage of tweets that continue against Kingfisher Airlines and its owner, it appears that the King of Good Times should have compiled a longer guest list; preferably including common passengers and citizens.

“IndiGo’s airhostess’ wig budget is more than Kingfisher’s profits,” said a tweet today. Another micro-blogger is enthusiastic having spotted a Kingfisher flight on the runway, which she feels is as rare as an UFO sighting. Another said, “What’s the similarity between Team India and Kingfisher Airlines? As of now, nobody is sure when the return flight will take off.”

The most popular one-liner, however, seems to be, “If you love someone set them free. If they go, it was never meant to be. If they return, they probably booked a ticket on Kingfisher Airlines.”

Many angry passengers have tweeted about being delayed because their flights have been cancelled while others have turned caustic. “Everyone blames Mallya that his flights are delayed. Nobody remembers that his calendars are always on time.”

Citizens have expressed disgust with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approving Kingfisher’s revised schedule. “Will the heavens fall if Kingfisher Airlines is banned? Why should we save this loss-making company?” asks an incensed citizen. Others seem to be fuming that banks are bailing out Kingfisher but cannot spare money for poor farmers.

All this, coupled with reports of Kingfisher ground staff in Delhi going on strike in protest of non-payment of salaries, has ensured that the afterglow from last night’s party has dimmed. But Dr Mallya is not without friends. Kingfisher beer has apparently trumped other brands, and some accounts are continuously boasting the fact and praising Dr Mallya’s brand.

Maybe, as a member of the twitteratti suggests, Kingfisher should now use its beer for flying.

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COMMENTS

Nagesh Kini FCA

5 years ago

I'm no twitteratti.
Referring to the 'most popular one liner quoted by you "If you love someone... " is it the passengers or the staff or the hapless lending bankers?
The DGCA like all its sister Regulators proven to be toothless tiger that can neither roar nor bite.
The King of Good times goes on.God alone knows how long.

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