Tuesday September 17, 2019
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TRAI Data Reveals Jio Gains Subscribers and Vodafone Loses Subscribers

As per the TRAI's monthly subscription data, apart from Jio, BSNL was the only operator which added subscribers

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jio, reliance, vodafone, bsnl
At the end of June 30, Vodafone Idea had a market share of 32.90 per cent followed by Reliance Jio at 28.42 per cent with Airtel trailing at 27.42 per cent. BSNL has a market share of 9.98 per cent. Wikimedia Commons

Reliance Jio continued to be on a spree on net addition of mobile subscribers adding over 82 lakh new users while Airtel lost 29,883 and Vodafone Idea had to let go of a massive 41 lakh customers as on June 30, 2019, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

As per the TRAI’s monthly subscription data, apart from Jio, BSNL was the only operator which added subscribers. The state operator added 2.66 lakh new users in June.
Jio now has 334 million users. In May, Airtel had lost 15 lakh subscribers and Vodafone Idea had lost 57 lakh users as the telcos started to remove low value packs from their plans to improve average revenue per user (ARPU).

At the end of June 30, Vodafone Idea had a market share of 32.90 per cent followed by Reliance Jio at 28.42 per cent with Airtel trailing at 27.42 per cent. BSNL has a market share of 9.98 per cent.

During the month of June, 2019, a total of 4.34 million requests were received for mobile number portability (MNP). The cumulative MNP requests increased from 437.15 million at the end of May 2019 to 441.49 million at the end of June 2019, since the implementation of MNP.

Vodafone has launched a new monthly minimum recharge plan for Rs 45 across India to boost revenue and it has been weeding out low value vouchers to improve revenue per user.

jio-vodafone
As on 30th June, 2019, the top five Wireless Broadband Service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (331.26 million), Bharti Airtel (119.09 million), Vodafone Idea (110.50 million), BSNL (12.87 million) and Tata Teleservices (1.40 million). Wikimedia Commons

Wireline subscribers further declined from 21.29 million at the end of May, 2019 to 21.17 million at the end of June 2019. The net decline in the wireline subscriber base was 0.12 million with a monthly decline rate of 0.56 per cent.

As on 30th June 2019, the top five Wired Broadband Service providers were BSNL (9.05 million), Bharti Airtel (2.40 million), Atria Convergence Technologies (1.45
million), Hathway Cable & Datacom (0.84 million) and MTNL (0.74 million).

As on 30th June, 2019, the top five Wireless Broadband Service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (331.26 million), Bharti Airtel (119.09 million), Vodafone Idea (110.50 million), BSNL (12.87 million) and Tata Teleservices (1.40 million). Total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & LTE) increased from 1,161.86 million at the end of May, 2019 to 1,165.46 million at the end of June, 2019, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.31 per cent.

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Wireless subscription in urban areas increased from 656.27 million at the end of May, 2019 to 657.27 million at the end of June 2019 while wireless subscription in rural areas increased from 505.59 million at the end of May 2019 to 508.19 million at the end of June 2019. (IANS)

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Idea of Reducing Gold Imports Important

Regardless of the economic situation, utilising savings of the country for investments and thereby creating growth and jobs is a commendable

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Idea, Gold, Imports
The idea of reducing gold imports is important, but suggestions ranging from raising import duties further to imposing bans need to be reassessed urgently. Pixabay

Recent financial news headlines have seen some concern with India’s gold imports and the fact that a significant component of domestic savings is “exported” abroad, which could probably be utilised to spur investments and growth in India. The idea of reducing gold imports is important, but suggestions ranging from raising import duties further to imposing bans need to be reassessed urgently. Regardless of the economic situation, utilising savings of the country for investments and thereby creating growth and jobs is a commendable and much-required objective. However, policies employed to do so must be ones that positively incentivise savers to park their savings in investment options linked to the capital markets than in gold.

To facilitate the growth of the financial sector, the financialisation of savings further, if done well, can help the situation in many ways. Besides channelling investments into businesses through the capital markets, the assets can yield much needed social security through income-generating retirement funds as a generation of workers retires over the next few decades. But, to do so, one must look at structural factors that can induce savers to park their money in the capital markets over and above gold.

Over the last several years increased taxation through a steady rise in the dividend distribution tax, long-term capital gains tax, short-term capital gains tax and securities transaction tax has to some extent slowed down the long-term aim of capital markets being a point of interaction between the savings of investors and capital required by companies. It is essential that going forward policymakers look to address these issues to ensure that markets can operate with as low friction as possible.

The importance of a steady flow of savings into the capital markets is essential not just from an equity perspective, but more so from a debt perspective. The focus must be much beyond only the listed markets. Financial instruments traded in the private markets must be made attractive from a tax perspective to increase capital availability for Indian businesses. Essentially, the vital question the capital markets authorities must ask is are we making investing into companies through both debt and equity attractive enough for investors?

Idea, Gold, Imports
Recent financial news headlines have seen some concern with India’s gold imports and the fact that a significant component of domestic savings is “exported” abroad, which could probably be utilised to spur investments. Pixabay

Additionally, perceptions are critical to capital flow. Investment options will be viewed by market participants not just in terms of current regulations, but also in terms of the participants’ perception of future regulations. While incentives are the way forward, imposing controls on price and volumes will not lead to the desired outcome. Instead, with increased controls, a higher distortion in the market may be observed.

While there have been calls from a few quarters for imposing controls of some type on the gold market, what is needed now is to frame policies that channel savings into domestic assets through incentives. It is also essential to be aware of global trends that affect commodity markets. In an age of unprecedented quantitative easing, robust demand for gold is to be expected. While predicting the future path of global interest rates is difficult, an appreciation of global trends and policies that cater to the same will be essential.

The policy debate between utilising effective regulations versus controls to channel capital is one that has ramifications much beyond the discussion on gold. Given the need India has in terms of both domestic and foreign capital to finance new businesses, distressed assets, and the general credit markets, a reassessment of the incentive mechanism is essential now. Deregulation and stable policy on the supply side, especially taxation policy, are going to be the biggest drivers of both domestic and foreign capital into India.

Capital availability for a country is incumbent upon the three main pillars: (i) of adequate financial instruments and vehicles that investors can utilise, (ii) taxation policies that determine returns from the aforesaid instruments and vehicles and (iii) most importantly, a stable policy regime. The government and stakeholders must continually evaluate as to how to improve upon the three pillars of capital availability, mentioned above.

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As India looks to source capital, a relook at the policy frameworks is critical to incentivising savings into channels that can help create capital for investment and growth. The focus must be on incentivisation, as opposed to further controls that may distort the market. (IANS)