Budget 2015: Key expectations of the telecom industry

Availability of adequate spectrum: Spectrum is the oxygen of a telecom industry and its inadequacy leads to poor quality of services. The telecom industry would look forward to adequate availability of spectrum. In the upcoming spectrum auction, the government is putting up only 5Mhz for the sale in the 2100 band.

Clear policy around spectrum: The telecom industry has been in a fix in the absence of no clear cut policy around spectrum. Keeping in mind, the limited availability of spectrum, the budget should give a clear direction around spectrum trading and sharing.

Rationalisation of taxes: The telecom sector is today affected by multiple taxes. The telecom industry looks forwards to doing away with these taxes. At present, the sector pays levies such as excise duty, custom duty, service tax, revenue share, spectrum charges, TDS, etc.

Lower withholding tax rate:  The industry wants the government to rationalize tax rate on margins allowed to distributors. At present, a telecom operator appoints a distributor to sell telecom vouchers to the end users and the margin allowed to such distributors is alleged to be ‘commission’ subject.

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