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Airtel, Voda Idea and Jio to hike mobile, data tariffs by up to 40%
Posted on 2nd December 2019
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea on Sunday announced a tariff hike in the range of 15 per cent and 40 per cent across different plans. The tariff hike by both companies will be applicable from December 3, 2019. Vodafone Idea on Sunday said its new plans for its prepaid products and services would be available across India, starting 00:00 hours of December 3, 2019.

Airtel's new plans represent tariff increases in the range of a mere 50 paise per day to Rs 2.85 per day and offer generous data and calling benefits.

Our new mobile plans offer tremendous value to our customers and are backed by a superior network experience on Airtel's nationwide 4G Shashwat Sharma, chief marketing officer, Bharti Airtel, said in the statement.

Reliance Jio also said it would be introducing new plans with unlimited voice and data.

These plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks. The new plans will be effective from December 6, 2019.

"Although the new all-in-one plans will be priced up to 40 per cent higher, staying true to its promise of being customer-first, Reliance Jio customers will get up to 300 per cent more benefits," Reliance Jio said in a release.

The announcement has come against the backdrop of both companies reporting massive losses in the second quarter (Q2) amid an adverse Supreme Court (SC) ruling on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).Bharti Airtel reported a pre-tax loss of Rs 31,334 crore for the quarter ended July-September (Q2) after the company provided for outstanding payments to the central government on account of the SC judgment on AGR. The pre-tax loss in the year-ago quarter stood at Rs 1,998 crore.

Vodafone Idea reported a massive pre-tax loss of Rs 36,959 crore in Q2 after it provided for payments related to AGR. The company took a hit of Rs 30,774 crore (including AGR) for the quarter. This led to a loss of Rs 50,922 crore at the net level - the highest-ever for an Indian company. The company had posted a loss of Rs 4,974 crore in the year-ago quarter, while the loss in the April-June quarter was Rs 4,874 crore.

In a massive blow to telecom companies, the apex court, on October 24, allowed the central government to recover Rs 92,641 crore in AGR from telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio.

The apex court ordered the telecom companies to pay as much as Rs 1.4 trillion in past statutory dues after considering non-telecom revenues for their calculation.

The companies are seeking waiver of interest and penalties on the dues and extended payment timelines instead of three months mandated by the SC.

However, in a relief to telecom companies, the Union Cabinet on November 20, 2019, announced a Rs 42,000-crore package to debt-laden telecom companies after it agreed not to take any payments for spectrum they use for the next two years.

It approved giving Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio the option to avail a two-year moratorium on payments they were supposed to make in yearly instalments for the spectrum bought in auctions.

Effectively, the benefit accruing to Bharti Airtel will be about Rs 11,746 crore, Vodafone Idea Rs 23,920 crore, and Reliance Jio Rs 6,670 crore.
Related Companies: IDEA Cellular Limited   

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'No desire for any post': Sachin Pilot calls truce after meeting with Gandhis, says wanted self-respect to remain intact
Posted on 11th August 2020
Former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Monday called truce with the Congress party after a month of high-pitched political drama that also played in the High Court and the Supreme Court. Pilot, who was sacked as deputy CM and as state unit chief, said he has no desire for any post and just wanted the self-respect to remain intact.

His statement came after a meeting with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and announcement of a three-member panel by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee put on ventilator support after brain clot surgery
Posted on 11th August 2020
Former President Pranab Mukherjee is on ventilator support after undergoing brain surgery at the Army Research and Referral hospital, where he was admitted on Monday morning after testing positive for COVID-19, sources said on Tuesday.

On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID-19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for COVID-19, Mukherjee tweeted on Monday afternoon.

UP: Chased by eve-teasers, US scholar girl dies in Bulandshahr road accident
Posted on 11th August 2020
In what comes as a tragic end to a bright life, Sudiksha, a girl from Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar who had received Rs 3.83 crore scholarship to study in the US, died after falling off from a bike in Bulandshahr after being chased by eve-teasers. Sudiksha had returned to India and was going to Sikandrabad with her uncle Manoj Bhati to meet her relatives.

According to reports, the eve-teasers had started performing stunts near Sudisha due to which her uncle was facing difficulty in riding the bike and was getting imbalanced.

Kerala plane crash: Air India praises Malappuram residents for saving lives
Posted on 10th August 2020
Air India Express has expressed its gratitude to people of Mallapuram, Kerala for help in a lane crash in which 18 people died Friday night.

In a tweet, the Air India Express said, Taking a bow to HUMANITY! A standing ovation from our hearts to the PEOPLE OF MALAPPURAM, Kerala, who had showered us with kindness & humanity during the uncertain incident. We owe you a lot! #ExpressGratitude.

Vodafone-Idea's fate hinges on the Supreme Court's AGR verdict today
Posted on 10th August 2020
For Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), the future course is closely pegged to today’s Supreme court decision on the issue of tenure of payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

In the last hearing, held in July, the court had ended some confusion by clearly telling VIL and other operators that there would be no reassessment of the AGR dues calculated by the department of telecommunications (DoT). Operators had earlier claimed, based on their self-assessment, that the payable amount should be far less.

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