“The Union Budget 2017 is certainly a pro-people budget. The budget certainly gives a boost to the purchasing power of common man. The allocation for the BharatNet project has been stepped up to Rs 10,000 crore in 2017-18 and high-speed broadband on optical fibre will be available in over 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with hotspots and access to digital services at low tariffs. These are certainly a welcome move for the telecom sector as this enhances the demand for data. The Digi Gaon initiative to provide telemedicine, education and skills through digital technology, will further boost data selling. Electricity supply to some remote rural parts of the country would mean that telecom operators can set up more towers that are powered by electricity and not by generators that consume diesel. This move has a direct impact on the cost of maintenance of telecom towers.
Although the budget is pro-people, there was an absolute lack of clarification on the 15% service tax levied on allocation of spectrum and one-time spectrum payment. I am hoping that the GST will give an answer to this pressing tax issue, as this has a direct and an adverse impact on the common man’s mobile phone bill.”
Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI
Also Read: Budget 2017- More Reactions