Voters in India’s capital headed to polling booths today in the third phase of the biggest election in world history, with Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party set to win the most seats and grab power after a decade.
India’s communications minister Kapil Sibal said he has called for a meeting with owners of mobile-phone companies to resolve lawsuits that have resulted in a 85 percent drop in overseas investment in the industry.
India will prosecute any company that violated rules for obtaining mobile-phone licenses from 2001 and won’t spare those found guilty, Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said.
India raised almost $10 billion from an auction of wireless spectrum that saw billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. emerge as a potential competitor to Vodafone Group Plc and Bharti Airtel Ltd.
Former Delhi leader Arvind Kejriwal attacked India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani over gas pricing as he turned his attention full time to a nationwide election due by May after his 49-day rule of the capital came to an end.
India raised less than 25 percent of its target from an auction of airwaves, a sale Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram was counting on to avert a sovereign credit downgrade. Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Idea Cellular Ltd. gained in Mumbai.
India’s telecommunications minister said the exchequer suffered a loss of about 170 billion rupees ($3.7 billion) from the sale of second-generation airwaves, almost one-tenth of what the nation’s top auditor estimated.
Vodafone Group Plc and Bharti Airtel Ltd. face an auction to keep using wireless spectrum in India that are set to expire in a year, a sale through which the government seeks to raise 400 billion rupees ($6.4 billion).