New Policy to Address Concerns of Industry: Telecom Min

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The Government is planning to optimally price spectrum, review taxes and charges such as licencing fees and spectrum usage charges

In the wake of various concerns raised by telecom companies, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said on Thursday said that the government is aware of the concerns of telecom industry including those regarding the higher taxes and inadequate spectrum and added that these issues will be addressed in the new communications policy.

The Minister gave assurance to the industry and informed about the efforts of the Government to promote the telecom sector.

Supporting the Minister, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said that the Government is aware that there is much to be done in the fields of levies rationalisation, more quantum of spectrum, eliminating manufacturing bottlenecks and creating intellectual property rights.

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Specific proposals to rationalise levies

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had said that it would set up an in-house monitoring policy for tracking and reviewing the implementation of the new communication policy – the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP). The new policy would have provisions for rationalising the levies of telecom industry, which pays around one-third of their earnings in the form of taxes or charges to the Government. The new policy would create specific proposals to rationalise the levies.

Under the NDCP, the Government is planning to optimally price spectrum, review taxes and charges such as licencing fees and spectrum usage charges (SUC). It also considers new provisions regarding spectrum sharing, trading and leasing guidelines in line with its approach that spectrum is a major natural resource that is to be efficiently utilised for the benefit of public.

5G proliferation

Sinha further said that the Government has been playing a critical role towards proliferation of 5G network across the country and would remain doing so in association with industry players.

Today, India has become the largest country in mobile data consumption. To further promote the efforts, the Government is ensuring that proper infrastructure is put in place for all the service providers on an equal basis, he said.

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