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Tuesday
August 2020
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News Headlines
NIA arrests six more people and conducts searches at 6 places in Kerala gold smuggling case        Union Minister observes fast as BJP seeks to step up pressure on Ker govt in gold smuggling case        Kerala crosses 25,000 COVID-19 cases as 1,169 test positive        Heavy rains forecast in Kerala this week; Low pressure likely in Bay of Bengal        Shah tests +ve for COVID-19, admitted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram        International passengers with negative COVID-19 test report can skip institutional quarantine: Govt        High time Mehbooba Mufti is released, says Rahul Gandhi        Death toll in Punjab spurious liquor tragedy rises to 104        Trump Says Federal Government Should Seek Death Penalty For Boston Bomber        Khamenei''s top aide praises Turkey''s Hagia Sophia move        IPL GC Meet: Final on Nov 10, Chinese sponsors intact, COVID replacements allowed        2nd ODI: Bairstow, Rashid shine in England''s 4-wicket win over Ireland        Kerala''s COVID-19 tally inching towards 25,000 mark, 1129 ccases, death toll climbs to 82        Kerala police SI dies of COVID-19; first from the force to succumb to the virus        If high command forgives rebels, I will welcome them back: Gehlot        Former SP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh dies at 64        Wild fire: 200 homes evacuated in Southern California        Emirati nuclear plant successfully starts up first reactor        Ready to push for continued advancement of China-Nepal ties: Xi        Some 17,000 people hit streets of Berlin to protest COVID-19 measures        
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Business News
Jio says will increase tariffs in next few weeks in compliance with rules
 
New Delhi: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani''s Reliance Jio on Tuesday said it will increase mobile phone call and data charges in the next few weeks in compliance with rules, as it followed similar announcements by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea on tariff hike. Jio, which had stormed the telecom sector with free voice calls and dirt cheap data, had for the first time last month decided to charge phone calls by its users to rival phone networks to compensate for interconnect usage charges. In a statement on Tuesday, Jio said that the telecom regulator TRAI is likely to initiate consultation process for revision in telecom tariffs.

The company underlined its commitment to bringing the 40 crore 2G customers to experience and participate fully in the Digital India eco-system, and pledged its full support to providing the best quality and experience to all its customers. "Like other operators, we will also work with the government and comply with the regulatory regime to strengthen the industry to benefit Indian consumers and take measures including appropriate increase in tariffs in next few weeks in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption, and sustains investments," Jio said.

The company did not divulge the extent of price hike in the offing. "Despite the staggering growth in data-consumption and 4G coverage across the country, there are still over 40 crore Indian consumers who have not benefitted from the advent of the latest technologies. We believe that the ambitious objectives of the ‘Digital India'' mission can be achieved only if India is made `2G-mukt'' in the shortest time-frame possible," Jio said. The government and the sector regulator TRAI should mandate this through policy, it added. "This requires continued investment at an industry level. The whole industry needs to come up the curve and raise standards to meet the aspirations of Indian citizens and fulfill the nation''s digital agenda," the statement added.

The operator - known for its aggressive stance on pricing since it launched services in 2016 - said it is committed to bringing the 40 crore 2G customers to experience and participate fully in the Digital India eco-system. The company said it will continuously innovate in the digital eco-system to provide affordable services and products to Indian consumers. "Jio is committed to always being regulatory compliant, and work with the industry to keep the telecom sector a vibrant part of the Indian economy and a vital engine for our country''s growth," it said. Jio said that as a technology disruptor and force multiplier, it acutely understands the transformative role telecom and digital services are playing for the Indian economy and society today.

"Jio has enabled India as the world''s largest data-market growing from 20 crore GB per month in 2016 to over 600 crore GB per month now," it said. The company had a subscriber base of 355.2 million, as on September 30, 2019. Confronted with intense competition and unprecedented statutory dues, older operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had on Monday announced a hike in mobile phone call and data charges from December saying the increase was warranted for viability of their business. Like Jio, the two telcos did not quantify the increase in rates but instead said that the hike will be effective beginning next month.

A TRAI source told PTI earlier on Tuesday that the telecom regulator will wait for operators to report their new tariffs to the authority before taking a view on whether the revised pricing is within the regulatory framework. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel last week had reported a combined loss of Rs 74,000 crore for the second quarter ended September 2019, mainly on account of statutory dues arising from the recent Supreme Court order on adjusted gross revenue (AGR). The apex court has upheld the government''s position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual AGR of telecom companies, a share of which has to be paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer.

The ruling over statutory liabilities had prompted a rush for provisioning by telecom companies. While Vodafone Idea posted a loss of Rs 50,921 crore -- the highest-ever quarterly loss by any corporate in India -- Airtel reported a loss of Rs 23,045 crore for the September quarter. In contrast, Jio had posted a 45.4 per cent jump in its standalone net profit to Rs 990 crore for the second quarter of 2019-20 fiscal, driven by growth in its subscriber base. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 681 crore in the same quarter a year ago.


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KERALA NEWS
Kerala crosses 25,000 COVID-19 cases as 1,169 test positive
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala on Sunday crossed the 25,000 mark in COVID-19 cases as 1,169 more people  
Heavy rains forecast in Kerala this week; Low pressure likely in Bay of Bengal
Kerala police SI dies of COVID-19; first from the force to succumb to the virus
Kerala reports 1,310 COVID-19 cases; 3 deaths takes toll to 73
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Trump Says Federal Government Should Seek Death Penalty For Boston Bomber
 WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump says the federal government must seek the death penalty for Bo
Khamenei''s top aide praises Turkey''s Hagia Sophia move
Wild fire: 200 homes evacuated in Southern California
Emirati nuclear plant successfully starts up first reactor
NATIONAL NEWS
Union Minister observes fast as BJP seeks to step up pressure on Ker govt in gold smuggling case
 New Delhi: Union Minister V Muraleedharan on Sunday observed a day-long fast at his residence here d
Shah tests +ve for COVID-19, admitted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram
International passengers with negative COVID-19 test report can skip institutional quarantine: Govt
High time Mehbooba Mufti is released, says Rahul Gandhi
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