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After govt. support on spectrum dues, COAI requests for rationalisation of levies and taxes

November 20, 2019
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The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the industry body representing private telecom operators, has welcomed the fact that the government has recognised the financial distress of the telecom sector and has provided relief in the form of deferments of spectrum payments.

“This will certainly provide some immediate cash flow relief to the industry.”, says Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI.

However, he has stated that the high level of levies and taxes continues to be a challenge for the sector.

“The telcos pay up to 30 per cent of their revenues to the government, by way of various levies and taxes, which is an enormous burden on the industry. 30 per cent of what is collected is passed on to the government. We have been requesting the government that these levies and taxes be rationalised and the same is also one of the important goals of NDCP. However, these aspects of the NDCP are yet to be operationalised and we are engaging with the government on the same.”, he adds.

COAI has also requested the government to consider the vexing issue of AGR and address the anomaly of continuing with the previous legacy issue of revenue share and license fees and SUC when spectrum has already been paid for up front.

“We hope the government considers this request of either eliminating AGR or redefining these in line with our request and then reduce the LF and SUC to 3 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.”, says Mathews.

 
 
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