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Bharti Airtel chairman explains why govt should review taxes, levies in telecom sector

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Bharti Airtel
Bharti Airtel chairman, Sunil Mittal

The Chairman, Bharti Airtel Limited, Sunil Mittal, has made a call to the government, seeking its help to lower taxes, levies on the telecom industry and help revive its financial health.

In Nigeria, telecos are believed to pay over 35 taxes and levies to the government at Federal, State and Local Government Areas.

Although Mittal was not particular about Nigeria, however, his message syncs with similar calls by industry players in Nigeria.

“It is time for the government to now ensure that this industry, which has had its ups and downs, is now given due attention in the area of levies and taxes. Taxes have generally been high for this industry. It is important that this is reviewed thoroughly,” Mittal said.

Mittal, who is the chairman of Bharti Airtel, also said that the Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat has given a clarion call to the industry to ensure that more value addition is done in India for telecom networks, mobile devices, and software.

“It should become a force multiplier in ensuring economic momentum becomes faster and gets accelerated. So, the government can earn its dues from other industries who are going to be riding on the back of this wonderful industry,” Mittal said at an event organised by Cellular Operators Association of India and IMC Studio on the occasion of 25th Anniversary of Mobile Telephony’ in India.

Earlier, in June, industry body COAI has urged the government for urgent rationalisation of “high burden” of regulatory levies on telecom service providers (TSPs), including a cut in spectrum charges and license fee, as it cited the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector.

In a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) also made a plea for a refund of the unutilised input tax credit immediately.

Earlier, in Bharti Airtel’s annual report, Sunil Mittal had pointed out how the telecom industry is being bogged down by lower tariff rates and higher taxes. The chairman of Bharti Airtel also said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat has given a clarion call to the industry which now looks to ensure that more value addition is done in India for telecom networks, mobile devices, and software.

Bringing attention to the battered telecom sector, Sunil Mittal said that the telecom industry has had its ups and downs and hence must be given due attention in the area of levies and taxes.

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Saviour Adugba is a journalist by day and a poet by night. He is fascinated by the internet of things, virtual reality and connecting the dots for brands. Saviour is the Lead, Content Development at TechEconomy.ng.

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