The Mobile Operators Affiliation of India (COAI), in a letter to Sitharaman, dated June 26, has underlined the criticality of such pending reduction measures, saying these are completely important for the cash-strapped sector to grapple with the adversarial financial fallout of Covid19, which continues to unfold quickly throughout the nation.
The COAI represents Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Thought.
“Given the adverse impact on the economy and operations of the digital communications industry due to Covid-19, we request that soft loans at a marginal cost lending rate (MCLR) be given to telecom companies using GST input credits as collateral and that the high burden of regulatory levies also be rationalised by reducing licence fee and SUC payouts immediately,” COAI director normal Rajan Mathews wrote in a letter to Sitharaman. ET has seen a replica of the letter.
The telcos have urged the FM to expedite steps to chop SUC to three% of a telco’s adjusted gross income (AGR) and scale back licence charges to three% of income from 8% now.
Additional, the cellphone corporations, of their letter to the FM, have reiterated their demand that every one telco funds in direction of spectrum debt, licence charges and SUC shouldn’t be labeled as `providers’, and accordingly, should not appeal to any items & providers tax (GST). As well as, they’ve sought exemption from service tax on the quantities of licence charges and SUC payable in compliance with a Supreme Courtroom order.
Mathews has identified to the FM that because the outbreak of Covid19, the load on telco networks has seen an exponential surge, particularly as huge swathes of company workers proceed working from house and each authorities companies and personal corporations additionally extensively use wi-fi web networks to remain nearly related.
“Ensuring continuity of these (telecom) services is of utmost importance in these challenging times, which is why, the criticality of immediate relief measures from the government,” Mathews stated.
The telecom business’s name for reduction from the finance ministry comes even because the Supreme Courtroom’s last views on the AGR case is awaited. The nation’s high courtroom will maintain the subsequent listening to on the AGR case within the third week of July, by when the telcos – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Thought and Tata Teleservices — and the federal government have been directed to finalise a roadmap for funds of steadiness licence payment and SUC dues, which may additionally embody an upfront cost clause.
The impacted operators have sought 20 years to clear their AGR dues, however the apex courtroom has stated they should make some upfront funds to avail of a deferred cost mechanism.
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