|Saturday, 05 May 2012 00:00|
Last week, telcos said Trai proposal would cause a 25-30% tariff hike. Now we’re told it will be 100%
Last week, the CEOs of several telecom companies said the telecom regulator’s (Trai) dramatic hike in reserve prices for spectrum could lead to a 25-30% hike in tariffs. Yesterday, a sign that inflationary pressures in the economy are alive and kicking, we were told the hike could be as high as 100%. What are we to make of this? It has been this newspaper’s view the Trai recommendations are as flawed as its statement that this would result in only a small cost increase (No more phones for Bharat, FE, April 26, http://goo.gl/JI3a8), but even we didn’t envisage this kind of a hike. In the hikes, that is.
And since the telecom CEOs have no problem in hiring expensive lawyers, may we suggest a good PR consultant as well? Standing arm-in-arm as the telecom CEOs did yesterday, with one grin competing with another, is hardly the picture that projects the image of an intensely competitive industry that’s been battered on its head, and many times over. Oh yes, and it does boggle the imagination a bit when you see yesterday’s pariahs, the Raja beneficiaries, together in the same frame as the older telcos that Raja effectively did in by starving them of spectrum. Old foes coming together is a great photo-frame, but for a different movie.