TEMA suggests one-time tax on diesel-powered towers

Telecom Lead India: TEMA has written to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh suggesting levy of a one-time tax on each tower for
using the subsidized fuel for generating power.


The Telecom Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (TEMA)
has suggested strong regulatory guidelines to enforce the withdrawal of diesel
subsidy to the telecom service providers or alternately introduce appropriate
onetime Tax per tower on the telecom service providers and telecom tower


The association said that telecom towers consume up to
Rs. 4,300 crore worth of subsidized diesel every year.


The government should levy a per site onetime tax on all
the sites owned by the mobile operators equivalent to 12 years of subsidy,
i.e., Rs 10,00,000 per site to offset, fully or partially, the loss to the
exchequer on account of subsidy, suggested Ashok K. Aggarwal, Honorary Director
General of TEMA.


He added that the move will allow the government to earn
Rs. 50,000 crores from five leading operators.


Also, it will also ensure that the telecom service
operators and telecom tower companies start adopting power efficient
infrastructure operating on greener source of energy much faster.


TEMA alleged that the subsidy meant for the rural poor,
farmers and bulk transport systems was being mis-utilized.


Our submission to the Government of India is to stop subsidizing
the telecom service operators and telecom tower companies and instead introduce
appropriate onetime tax per site,” said Ashok K. Aggarwal.


The TRAI recommendations on Green Telecommunications last
year indicated that approximately 8,760 liters of diesel was being consumed
annually by each telecom tower site which works out to around 4.3 billion
liters per annum of diesel consumption by the 500,000 telecom towers alone.


With the expansion of the telecom networks, India is
expected to add another 300,000 towers in next five years.


TEMA wants ministry to reject Booz & Co report on
Indian telecom equipment manufacturing

Recently, TEMA requested the telecom ministry to reject Booz & Co’s report
on Indian telecom equipment manufacturing.


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