Prasad also said in Lok Sabha that nearly one lakh employees of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have opted for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha today said that there is enough cash available in the country and the hype around currency shortage has been created to mislead the nation.
Speaking at the annual conference of International Competition Network, Sinha cited a slew of pro-competition measures initiated by the government across various sectors to underscore its positive impact on the overall economy and global rankings in ease of doing business.
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said financial incentives and disincentives should be built into clauses for the second phase of the project to reward players for on time delivery.
The GST rate for telecom services is 18 per cent. This is higher than 15 per cent that consumers paid on their phone bills in taxes and cess, before July 1. However, under GST, the telecom operators will also get the benefit of input tax credit, bringing the overall effective rates lower for consumers.
"The growth is happening. There are certain concerns around the balance sheet of some companies...The government is aware of it and has constituted a inter-ministerial panel to debate all the issues. The panel has already held its first meeting," Sinha said at curtain raiser event of the India Mobile Congress.
The government has proposed to levy 18 per cent tax on telecom services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
The service will cover areas where no networks are present and be provided by INMARSAT which has 14 satellites.
ED had, on May 2, moved the High Court challenging a special court's February 2 order discharging the Maran brothers and others in the Aircel-Maxis money laundering case.
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha released the stamps at a function at the post office.
The minister further emphasised that prescribed limits for radiation emissions in India are more stringent than global norms.
Accruals from licence fee payments in the telecom sector have fallen from Rs 3,975.6 crore in the first quarter to Rs 3,450 crore in the third quarter of the current fiscal, the Parliament was informed today.
The decline in telecom operators' revenues due to falling tariff impacts their capacity to invest and this can also lead to delay in spectrum payment, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.
The minister also said that the government has not yet decided to conduct another auction of airwaves soon.
The revenue of MTNL declined by 8.6 per cent from Rs 756.22 crore posted in the corresponding quarter of previous fiscal.
Special Judge O P Saini, who was scheduled to pass the order today on framing of charges as well as on bail applications of the Maran brothers and other accused persons, deferred it to the next date, saying the order was not ready.
Amendment of TRAI Act, particularly with respect to giving the regulator penal powers, assumed significance after the Supreme Court struck down its decision to impose penalty on operators for call drops
Sinha also warned operators that his Ministry will not hesitate on slapping penalty and other actions in case consumers continue to face the menace of call drops and call failures.
"The minister will meet CEOs on call drop issue...we have held one meeting already and this (upcoming) meeting will be for stocktaking and road map for the future," Telecom Secretary JS Deepak said.
On state-owned BSNL performance, Sinha said the company was running in loss since 2007 and now for the first time it has earned profit. The Minister also claimed that the NDA government has invested Rs 20,000 crore in BSNL in 1 year.
A bench of Justices J S Khehar and Arun Mishra also rejected one of the petitions of South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd, an accused in the case, in which it had claimed that Aircel-Maxis case was not related to 2G spectrum scam.
Sinha, who addressed the Indian community at the Indian Consulate yesterday, said the telecom sector in India is competitive and if Reliance Jio will make voice calls available at cheap rates, other companies will have to compete to give better quality and rates.
"Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have submitted their application forms," an official source said.
Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar has sought investigation into finance wing of the Department of Telecom in the matter relating to Rs 46,000 crore under-reporting of revenues by service providers.
Indian Railway is rolling out free wi-fi service at busy stations. It has plans to roll out Google supported free wi-fi service at 100 stations by end of this year and 400 by the end of next year.