Country’s second largest mobile operator Vodafone India today said conditions for doing business in the country have not improved much in the last few months but it is “hopeful that change will happen”.
“Its not nice to say, but it is reality. It is not like we said ‘its difficult to do business in India’, it is objectively difficult to do business in India..,” Vodafone India Managing Director and CEO Marten Pieters said when asked if conditions have improved for doing business.
“Coming to the telecom industry, we have not seen much change so far but we are hopeful that change will happen,” he added.
Pieters cited the latest World Bank report wherein India has dropped by two places as compared to last year in the ease of doing business.
India ranked 142 among the 189 countries surveyed for the latest World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report, a drop by two places from the last year’s ranking.
Citing the example of 3G intra-circle roaming (ICR) pacts among operators, Pieters said the government should have ended the matter when telecom tribunal TDSAT allowed them to continue with the arrangements, but the government decided to do otherwise.
The British telecom major is facing a tax liability of over Rs 11,200 crore, along with interest, on its 2007 acquisition of Honk Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in India’s telecom major, Hutchison Essar. The India unit is its subsidiary.
Vodafone India has moved the Delhi High Court alleging the Centre is indulging in “arm-twisting” and “coercive” tactics by refusing to sign its unified licence (UL) till it unconditionally accepts the “restrictive” clauses in the licence.