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High telecom GST contradicts Digital India vision: Mittal
The high rate of GST and spectrum prices in the telecom sector go against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a digitally-empowered India, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said here.
Telecom is also among the most-taxed sectors globally, he said, addressing the inaugural session of the India Mobile Congress 2018. “I cannot see how this contradiction can stay in place, when on one hand we have our Prime Minister’s vision of a digitally empowered India, and on the other we keep our spectrum prices, license fees very high, and of course the GST is also at 18 per cent which is almost at the highest tax bracket,” the Airtel Chairman said. “For mobile operators in India, out of every Rs 100 earned, nearly Rs 37 go towards one form of levy or the other.”
Mittal, however, also said that the recently released National Digital Communications Policy focuses on the concerns of the industry, which would help in rationalising the tax and other charges along with easing the merger process.
Talking of the consolidation in the segment in India and worldwide, Mittal said: “The world is moving towards two, three operators in every country and I am delighted that India now has come to a point where we have one state operator and three private mobile operators serving over 1.2 billion people.”
Will start 5G trials in Q1 2019: Samsung
In collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Samsung will commence the first large-scale 5G trials in India in the first quarter of next year, a top company executive said here on Thursday. “5G will be the key to bring smart factories, smart cities and smart agriculture to a new, digitalised India,” Youngky Kim, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said.
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