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It's time for govt to ease tax load: Sunil Mittal

Says telecom industry has been making investments despite low returns; Airtel's fund-raise plans give power to go extra mile

Telecom operator Airtel not to avail option of converting interest on dues to equity

Telecom operator Airtel not to avail option of converting interest on dues to equity 

Airtel's Rs 21,000-crore fund raising plan will give the firm the fuel to shift to a higher gear and tap large opportunities by accelerating investments in the rollout of 5G services, fibre, and data centre business, its Chairman Sunil Mittal said on Monday. Mittal further added that the telecom industry has been making investments despite low returns and it is now time for the government to attend to the issues faced by the sector, including the continuing high taxes.

He said that the industry has been urging the government to address some pressing issues 'inhibiting' continued investments in the sector and added that the taxes on the industry remain high.

"For every Rs100 of revenue, Rs35 go in various forms of levies. We hope that as we step up and do our part, the government will also favourably look at some of the genuine demands of the industry, enabling a multiplier effect and positive outcome," Mittal said in an investor call on the company's fundraising plans.

"Airtel has the opportunity to be the tip of the spear for the new digital economy and take India into the next phase of growth", he added.

The telecom czar further estimated that the industry's ARPUs (Average Revenue Per User) would reach Rs 200 per user per month by the end of the current financial year and eventually move to Rs 300.

The company's board on Sunday approved raising up to Rs 21,000 crore by way of the rights issue, at a price of Rs 535 per share.The rights entitlement ratio entails one equity share for every 14 equity shares held by eligible shareholders as on the record date (to be notified later).

The promoter and promoter group of the company would collectively subscribe to the full extent of their aggregate rights entitlement. The company has informed that they will also subscribe to any unsubscribed shares in the issue.Promoter holding in the company stands at about 55.8 per cent, while public holds 44.09 per cent.

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