ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Telecom: Outdated Thinking

I refer to your editorial comment of August 26, ‘Telecom: Groping towards a Unified Market’. While generally appreciating the content, I find the comment that the licence fees are not too onerous at 12 per cent, 10 per cent and 8 per cent of gross revenues not very acceptable. The licence fees are costs to the company and therefore will be realised through prices for services to customers. If the licence fees go toward a telecom development fund then there is social welfare but they are going into the bottomless pit of the union government’s perpetual budgetary deficits. We may remember that in addition to the licence fees there is a Universal Access Fund contribution at 5 per cent of the revenues. It is only this 5 per cent which will be going for funding and placement of public telephones in rural and remote areas and not the licence fee.

Just as the incumbent government department of telecoms is exempted from entrance fee there should not be any objection for exempting the incumbent private telecom companies also from entrance fee as proposed by the TRAI.

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