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Vodafone Idea Wants To Charge Rs 35 per GB From 1st April Vodafone Idea Wants To Charge Rs 35 per GB From 1st April

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Vodafone Idea Wants To Charge Rs 35 per GB From 1st April

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The telecom sector has been going through a bit of rough patch lately and we have kept you updated right since the start of all of this.

Last year, the court had upheld the government’s idea of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), on which it calculates levies on telecom operators. The order led to a sick blow to the telecom industry, as the operators will now have to pay dues for the past 14 years, along with interest and fines.

Vodafone-Idea has been hit the worst by this and is under pressure to pay an estimated amount of Rs. 53,000 crore, of which it has managed to pay only Rs. 3,500 crore to the government yet.

Vodafone-Idea’s Demands to the Govt

Telecom companies have been left scrambling to pay dues after the Supreme Court on 14 February pulled them up for failing to comply with its October verdict. However, it is Vodafone-Idea that has been hit the worst.

Thus, in order to enable it to pay statutory dues and make it’s business sustainable, Vodafone-Idea has demanded fixing minimum tariffs for mobile data at Rs. 35 per GB, which amounts to 7-8 times of current prices, along with calls at 6 paise per minute, starting from April 1.

The company has sought 18 years’ time to clear the dues, including a three-year moratorium on payment of interest and penalty, to clear its AGR dues of more than Rs. 50,000.

To give you a reference, the current mobile internet prices are in the range of Rs. 4-5 per GB. The demand to raise call and internet rates from Vodafone Idea comes within three months of the company raising prices by up to 50%.

According to the company, an increase in mobile call and data rates will help it generate revenue to the same level as Vodafone and Idea individually generated in 2015-16. It says that it will take 3 years to get to that level after tariff hike, thus asking for a three-year moratorium for successful payment of AGR dues.

The company says that it would be in a position to meet its liabilities only if the government initiates steps including allowing set-offs for GST credit accumulated so far, and permitting staggered mechanism for payment of balance amount of interest, penalty, and interest on the penalty.

COAI Asks for a Minimum Floor Price

The Cellular Operators Association of India has urged the government to ensure that consumers pay a minimum floor price for using mobile services from April.

The government levies a license fee and spectrum usage charge based on revenue earned by telecom companies. Telecom companies and government had entered into a dispute over ascertaining revenue calculation.

However, the SC upheld the government method of calculating the revenues and ordered telecom operators to clear all dues by January 23, 2020.

The cumulative liability on telecom operators was estimated at around Rs. 1.47 lakh crore by the Department of Telecom in July 2019. For this, the COAI said that floor pricing is imperative to ensure the sector’s sustainability. The industry body represents Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.

The industry body has sought that the GST credits lying with the government be adjusted against the dues payable by telcos. It has also sought that after this adjustment, the payment of balance amount of interest, penalty, and interest on penalty be allowed in a staggered manner.

The government may consider granting loans equal to the AGR amount at a 6% rate of interest so that the AGR liability may be discharged immediately.

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Italy PM announces lockdown extension till April 13

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Coronavirus

Italy: Italian PM Giuseppe Conte announced the extension of nationwide lockdown till 13 April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement has been made just two days before the current lockdown that started on March 10, was due to an end. Italy currently has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world at 13,155, while the overall confirmed cases stood at 110,572.

Giuseppe Conte - PM of Italy

Giuseppe Conte – PM of Italy

“We have surpassed 13,000 deaths, and this is a wound that pains us especially — it is a wound that will never heal,” said Conte.

“So we are not in a condition to relax our restrictive measures yet… and this is why I just signed a new decree that extends the current measures to April 13,” he further added.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has infected 905,295 people worldwide and the death toll has increased to 45,441 on Thursday even as the head of the UN has declared this crisis as humanity’s worst since World War II.

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SpiceJet ready to fly migrant workers to Bihar during Coronavirus lockdown

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SpiceJet ready to fly migrant workers to Patna

NEW DELHI: SpiceJet has offered the operation of some of its flights to the government for the 21-day lockdown.

SpiceJet chairman and MD said the airline is ready to fly some aircraft from Delhi and Mumbai to Patna to relieve the suffering of migrant laborers or workers, especially those from Bihar during the lockdown due to Coronavirus.

“We have offered our aircraft and crew for any humanitarian mission that the government needs us to fly. We are already flying food, medicines and medical equipment for the government every day (on our freighter aircraft),” Singh told PTI.

“We would like to alleviate the suffering of the migrant workers, especially those from Bihar, by flying some flights between Delhi/Mumbai and Patna,” he added.

Indigo, GoAir and SpiceJet

Indigo, GoAir, and SpiceJet

Domestic and international passenger flights are still banned till April 14 midnight.

IndiGo and GoAir have also offered their aircraft and crew and staff members to the government for any humanitarian use.

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Bihar records two new 2 coronavirus cases Total number reaches 9

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Corona

PATNA: Two fresh cases of COVID-19 coronavirus have been reported in Bihar. This took the total number of positive cases COVID-19 has mounted to nine.

“Two more coronavirus positive cases found in Bihar – one from Siwan with travel history to Dubai and another from Nalanda with no travel history to any foreign country,” said RMRI official.

Bihar records two 2 coronavirus cases Total number reaches 9

Bihar records two 2 coronavirus cases Total number reaches 9

The Director of Rajendra Memorial Research Institute, Pradip Das said, test reports of 2 staff members of a private hospital, where a COVID-19 patient was admitted last week before being transferred to AIIMS Patna where he died, have been positive.

Another patient hailing from Siwan who was admitted to the Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) has been tested positive. Sources from the department of health said that the patient had recently visited Dubai and returned to Siwan last week.

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