Post Goods and Service Tax (GST) implementation, GSM operators body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has congratulateed the Government for initiating such a move and even has welcomed the implementation of the GST. However, the association now wants Government to revise the current rate the rate for telecom services from the current 18 percent to 5 percent.
Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI, said that telecom sector has always been the crown jewel, with the achievement of over a billion connections and one of the highest contributions to the GDP. Today it is saddled with an unprecedented debt of more than Rs 4.5 lakh crore, with revenues of less than Rs 2 lakh crore, a return on capital employed averaging around 1 percent. We are therefore hopeful that the government will consider our plea and revise the current rate of 18 percent which is fairly high to the requested rate of 5 percent which is better aligned with telecom being an essential service and critical infrastructure."
Like wise, COAI has said, "All the policy changes of this size are bound to face teething problems initially. As long as the government and Industry work together, for the greater good, we are certain that all issues will get resolved. We are also confident that we will get all the required support from the government, DoT and the Finance Ministry for this and both the industry and the government will continue to work in the best interests of the consumers and the nation keeping offerings competitive and innovative."
Calling it an important step for a new India, Mathews further added that " GST is the biggest reform since Independence, far outweighing even the liberalization of the 90s in its scope and scale. "
He pointed out that, "The introduction of a single tax across the country will make transactions across the country much easier and significantly reduce complexities in taxation. The Indian telecom Industry remains committed to working with the government shoulder to shoulder and has been preparing for the transition in all earnest over the course of the last year. The tremendous amount of work that the Government and the industry have put in for the July 1 roll-out of GST deserves appreciation."
Telecom is all pervasive and as essential service which is today the backbone of the nodal government mission mode programs like Digital India, Make in India, Skill India amongst others..