BBMP plans to hike charges on mobile towers

The BBMP Tax and Finance Standing Committee has decided to hike the existing annual fee on the mobile towers from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000. DH file photo

In a bid to regulate the mushrooming of cell phone towers across the city rooftop, the BBMP plans to introduce a separate tax regime close on the lines of Optical Fiber Cables (OFC).

The civic body proposes to increase the annual fee that the cellular companies pay for installing towers. With this, the civic body expects to generate more revenue.

The BBMP Tax and Finance Standing Committee has decided to hike the existing annual fee from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000.

Speaking to DH, M R Venkatesh, chief engineer, BBMP said: "there was a proposal to increase the annual fee for installing the towers. We have conducted a detailed study comparing various city municipality fee for the same and also on how to generate the revenue from the mobile towers.”

The proposal had been sent to the tax and finance standing committee which has agreed to the new amendment and present it at the next council meeting, Venkatesh added.

Speaking to this paper, Chairman of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance M Mahadev said: “The purpose of this is to regulate the mobile towers and also to generate the revenue from this. Earlier the annual fee was Rs 20,000 and now we have proposed to increase it to 50,000.”

There are 6,766 mobile towers in the city.

“The fee proposed by the BBMP is way too less as other states charge up to Rs 2.5 lakh. The civic body aims to earn Rs 50 crore by levying this fee this year,” he added.

In the 2018-19 Budget, it was proposed to remove all unauthorised mobile towers in BBMP limits.

Number of cell phone towers in the city

ATC India - 1,920

Indus - 2,904

Tower Vision - 448

Reliance - 873

Re Infra - 621

Total: 6,766

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BBMP plans to hike charges on mobile towers

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