Home India Cut in levies, fast NTP implementation key to $100 bn investment: COAI

Cut in levies, fast NTP implementation key to $100 bn investment: COAI

The draft also proposes to address the woes of the debt-ridden telecom sector by reviewing licence fees, spectrum usage charges, universal service obligation fund levy -- all of which add to cost of telecom services.

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New Delhi: Cutting telecom levies to below 10 per cent and speedy implementation of the proposed new telecom policy will be crucial for attracting USD 100 billion investment as envisaged in the NTP draft, COAI said today.

The government last evening released the draft of the new telecom policy (NTP) — ‘National Digital Communications Policy 2018′ — with an aim to create 40 lakh new jobs by 2022, attract USD 100 billion investment in the sector and ensure broadband coverage at 50 mbps for every citizen.

The draft also proposes to address the woes of the debt-ridden telecom sector by reviewing licence fees, spectrum usage charges, universal service obligation fund levy — all of which add to cost of telecom services.

“Bringing down total taxes and levies, currently at about 30 per cent, to below 10 per cent, will be important for attracting investment targets outlined in the draft policy document,” Director General of Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), Rajan Mathews told .

He said the industry – reeling under a massive financial stress – would like the policy to be finalised and implemented by July-end.

Mathews said the mobile industry fully supports the NTP blueprint released after public consultations.

The draft proposes to adopt “Optimal Pricing of Spectrum” to ensure sustainable and affordable access to digital communications. High spectrum price and related charges have been main concern of telecom services segment which is bruised by a debt of around Rs 7.8 lakh crore.
It also proposes to recognise mid-band spectrum, particularly the 3 GHz to 24 GHz range, for next-generation networks. It also outlined roadmap for high in demand backhaul spectrum for transmitting signals between mobile towers in E and V band as per international best practices.

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