New govt should help revive industry: Telecom body

New govt should help revive industry: Telecom body

Representative image

Indian Telecom operators on Tuesday urged that the new government post elections, should ease financial stress of the industry through clear road map by addressing host of issues including spectrum charges and license fee.

Telecom body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said if the new government addressed the problems in the first 6-9 months, it would help the industry to come out from the current financial stress.

“The revenue continues to remain under pressure for the industry saddled with high debt, and for most players the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization or EBITDA generated is not enough to meet the interest expenses,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General of COAI, told reporters here.

He also demanded that income from interest, dividend, capital gains from sale of fixed assets, gains from forex fluctuation, income from rent, insurance claims and distributors' margin should not be included in the revenue of the telecom operators for the purpose of computation of licence fee and spectrum usage charges.

Revenue from sale of handsets and other subscriber terminals like routers should also be not included in the AGR (adjusted gross revenue), he added.

Some of the key demands from the industry include allowing deductions of lease line/bandwidth charges and the charges paid by one telecom operator to another as 'pass through charges', alignment of the bank guarantees with the licence fee and spectrum usage charge payouts of telecom operators, and refund of accumulated unutilised input tax credit, among others.