New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government on Monday after the announcement of the telecom tariffs, with revised rates shot up by 40 to 50 per cent.
In her latest tweet, Vadra hit out at the ruling BJP government reminding it of the ceaseless boasting about subsidized call and internet rates. She tweeted, “BJP, for the last six years, had been bragging about making mobile internet and calls cheaper. Now, even that is gone, like hot air. The BJP weakened BSNL, MTNL and paved new routes for the rest of the companies to make calls and data expensive.”
“BJP, in order to benefit its rich friends, is constantly poking holes in the pockets of the commoners,” she added.
Remarkably, one of PM Narendra Modi’s loudest pitch on the reasonable telecom prices was during his ‘Howdy, Modi!’ tour in Texas, the USA, where he proudly told potential investors how cheap mobile data in India was.
Reliance Jio Infocomm announced new plans for its prepaid customers on Sunday following the footsteps of its rival telcos Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel. The new ‘all-in-one’ plan of Jio will be effective from December 6, while the Vodafone and Airtel plans will be effective from December 3.
The latest tariff revision followed the Supreme Court’s ruling on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) stating that AGR should also include dividends, handset sales and rent, in addition to revenue on services.
The central government had also agreed to provide time to telecom operators to defer payment of the spectrum-related dues till the next two financial years.
The three leading telecom operators are hiking up tariffs for the first time since September 2016 to build up finances, pay huge pending dues to government and shore up their lowest average revenue per user. The hikes, however, come with enhanced data and other benefits, the telcos said.
Vodafone Idea had earlier said it would increase tariff in December after it revealed its highest quarterly loss of Rs 50,922 crore at the end of September quarter. According to the Department of Telecom (DoT), Airtel owes around Rs 23,000 crore, Vodafone nearly Rs 19,823.71 crore and Reliance Communications owes a lumpsum of Rs 16,456.47 crore.