According to preliminary finding, telecom sector needs to scoop between $50-60 billion to operationalise the National Digital Communications Policy 2018 objectives by 2022.
In October 2018, the Narendra Modi government has come out with a national policy that aims to attract as much as $100 billion worth of investments and create 4 million new employment opportunities.
“$50-60 billion is required to achieve policy targets by 2022,” EY telecommunication leader Prashant Singhal said, adding that there was a need to come up with recommendations on annual gross revenue (AGR) as well as Goods and Service Tax (GST) to unlock more than Rs 25,000 crore.
There have been various litigations on the AGR while over Rs 25,000 crore is lying with the government on account of GST for which the industry is seeking a refund.
Telcos, barring Reliance Jio, have asked the government to waive GST on spectrum payments and other levies, and in a letter to to the government, lobby group, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) recently said that revenues have declined substantially, the output GST on revenue is unable to absorb input GST credits available.
The Delhi-based group said that nearly Rs 35,000 crore of operator’s capital in the form of excess GST credits have been blocked.
“There is a need to simplify taxation regime. Infrastructure sharing is important for 5G. Revenue is not growing worldwide. Telcos spend 15-20 per cent on capital expenditure. It is desirable to have a policy on infrastructure,” GSMA India policy director Manoj Misra said.
The article has been developed with inputs of Economic Times