Vodafone, Idea may Call for Easing Spectrum Caps
Cos likely to argue that consolidation will cut no. of players, make current caps irrelevant Massive Job Cuts Likely in Telecom Core Issues not Addressed: Bala
Airlines have seen as much as a 35% decline in average domestic fares in the three months through January, as demonetisation took away their pricing power at a time when they were also adding capacity, reports Employees of state-run banks may stand eligible for stock options from next fiscal year, as the government is actively considering the suggestion made by the Banks Board Bureau to better in-
centivise staff. For large banks, the employee stock option plan (Esop) could be as much as 5% of profit after tax. For smaller banks, it could be about 3%, a senior government official said. Economy: Macro, Micro & More The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld AIADMK chief VK Sasikala’s conviction in a disproportionate assets case and sent her back to jail. Hours later, Sasikala loyalist Edappadi K Palaniswami was elected the legislature party leader, projecting him as the next chief minister, while O Panneerselvam was sacked from the party. Pure Politics New Delhi: Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, in talks for a possible merger, are likely to ask t he Depa r t ment of Telecommunications for a relaxation in the amount of spectrum telcos can hold, citing the ongoing consolidation wave that would reduce the number of players and render existing limits irrelevant.
If India’s second and thirdlarge s t telcos do actually decide to merge, the resultant entity would need to sur - render a significant amount of spectrum under the current r ules. A telecom operator can only hold a maximum 25% of the total spectrum allotted/issued in a circle and up to 50% of the airwaves allotted in any one bandwidth. T h a t wo u l d mean breaching the cap in four circles for the coveted 900 MHz band and in 12 circles for the 2500 MHz band, according to a Credit Suisse report.
“Both the companies are first trying to figure out how they can combinetheirairwavesacrossall bands to get contiguous chunks of airwaves and for the balance airwaves, which exceed the caps, they could soon make a presentation tothe department explaining that current market conditions require raising of caps on the quantum of airwaves that can be held,” said a person familiar with the development. “Chang ing market Experts and telecom executives say the wave of consolidation in the sector may lead to massive job cuts across levels, report Devina Sengupta, Sreeradha D Basu and Deepali Gupta. Executives say a third of the 3 lakh people employed directly and indirectly could become redundant in 18 months. conditions” are the reason for seeking a relaxation in the cap, said the person cited earlier. Idea and the local unit of UK’s Vodafone Group Plc are likely to propose raising the 25% cap by about 10 percentage points, he said.
where he related news of his conversation with the founders o n S u n d ay a i med at ensuring disputes did not spill over into the media. T here wou ld likely be far fewer public battles now, he told the investors. “I spoke to the founders day before yesterday and we agreed that we should not have these discussions through the media. It does not reflect well on the institution. We have a renewed commitment not to let this spill into the public space,” Seshasayee Former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan told that Monday’s press conference by Infosys brass was ‘very disappointing’ as it did not address the core issues. He also said there is a trust deficit between the board and the top shareholders. said on t he c a l l which took place on Tuesday evening. The fou nde r s would con - tinue to give their views to the company, he added. Seshasayee also listed out steps such as institutionalising a severance practice to prevent such issues from arising in the future. In an interview with ET last week, Infosys cofounder NR Narayana Murthy said corporate governance standards at the company had dropped and that an outsized severance payment to some employees could look like ‘hush money’. Seshasayee said the board would also look at the variable pay that would be paid to CEO Vishal Sikka this year. Analysts had asked if there was enough f lexibility in how the payment would be made even if certain metrics had not been met due to a tougher macroeconomic environment.