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AGR-hit Voda Idea wants 7-8 times hike in mobile data tariffs

New Delhi: Vodafone Idea has demanded fixing minimum tariffs for mobile data at Rs 35 per GB, around 7-8 times of current prices, and for calls at 6 paise per minute along with monthly charges from April 1 to enable it pay statutory dues and make its business sustainable.

The loss-making telco is under pressure to clear adjusted gross revenue dues of more than Rs 50,000 crore to comply with a Supreme Court order. The company has sought 18 years time to clear the dues, including a three-year moratorium on payment of interest and penalty, according to official sources. "There are number of demands that Vodafone Idea has put across the government for its survival. The company wants minimum price of data should be fixed at Rs 35 per gigabyte and minimum monthly connection charge at Rs 50 from April 1, 2020. These are tough demands which is a problem for government to fulfil," an official said on the condition of anonymity.

Current mobile internet prices are in the range of Rs 4-5 per GB. According to the source, Voda Idea wants minimum price of outgoing calls should be fixed at 6 paise per minute. The demand to raise call and internet rates from Vodafone Idea comes within three months of company raising prices by up to 50 per cent.

"According to the company, increase in mobile call and data rates will help it generate revenue to the same level as Vodafone and Idea individually generated in 2015-16.

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