Letters

Mobile call charges

| Updated on January 25, 2013 Published on January 25, 2013


Major mobile telephone companies are raising call charges by 25-30 per cent. This was expected, given that the Government managed to extort huge amounts (Rs 1,08,000 crore) in the 3G and broadband wireless spectrum auctions alone.

To make more money, the Government went on granting licences. And, owing to the large number of competitors, each company can have only limited spectrum and that had to be bought at a huge cost.

Now the Government is forcing the companies to abolish roaming charges, which will reduce the revenues by about 10 per cent. No mobile company is making any significant profits even after 17 years.

Every company is burdened with huge debt (the state-owned MTNL and BSNL have been incurring huge losses year after year). Urban demand for voice is more or less saturated, and the new markets for voice would be only in the capital-intensive, revenue-poor rural areas, adding to the misery of the telephone companies.

It is wrong for the Government to impose a further burden when mobile telephony prices are the lowest in the world, even in relation to our low per capita incomes.

This is populism, pure and simple.

T. H. Chowdary

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Curtail fiscal deficit

Decisions such as allowing FDI in retail, deferring GAAR till 2016 and raising fuel prices are some measures the government has taken to cut the fiscal deficit to 5.3 per cent, perhaps, to kick-off a campaign to woo investments. Restarting investment inflow is the need of the hour.

The Government should exempt infrastructure and SEZ firms from the levy of minimum alternative tax.

Infrastructure and SEZs are the engines of growth.

Atma Prakash

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Published on January 25, 2013
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